If you are a crafter or direct sales business owner, a great way to get new contacts and leads for your business is by doing vendor events. There are several kinds of vendor events you can set up a display at.
Mall events are good to advertise and promote your brand, products and your name.
Why participate in a vendor event for your direct sales business?
I personally prefer to spend money on a booth at an event as my main form of advertising. This type of event gives you the chance to talk to people, give out your card and let people in your target area and target market know that you are their local connection for your business. You are also able to get contact info from interested prospects that you can follow up with later. If you advertise in a paper or online, you have to wait and hope that people will see your ad and then contact you. A vendor event if done correctly and attended well can have a very high return on investment for your business.
What things should you consider before agreeing to participate?
When you are calling to check on the events there are a few things you need to keep in mind before signing up. First you want to make sure that there are no other consultants from your company. Michigan Crafters Marketplace - Saturday Super Sale offers Exclusive Exhibitor, only one person selling each brand. Also find out how many years the event has been established and how many people attend on average. Other things to consider are whether it is indoors or outdoors. For an event that tens of thousands of people come through, it may be worth it to pay $250-$500 for a booth.
How to prepare for a vendor event:
Once you have found an event or two to participate in, it’s time to get yourself, your products and your display ready. As for products, I recommend bringing your business kit that new recruits get for signing up as part of your display. Then bring host specials and customer specials for the rest of your demo. You are going to want to be focusing on recruiting and dating parties so having those items and signage that goes along with it will help. Be sure to have catalogs, sales fliers, business cards and party and recruiting packets too!
Be sure to bring a good selection of products to sell and set up a clean display. I like to use small metal shelves on my table to organize my display and my cash and carry products. It helps my booth stand out from the others and allows me to showcase many more products than just stacking a few on the table.
Be sure to dress for success or match the type of event you are attending. Wear a shirt with your logo and casual dress pants or a logo or polo shirt and very nice jeans. Depending on the event and the location of the event, I typically wear nice clothes with a logo shirt. Most of the events and the areas my business is in are outdoors or more casual so I would look out of place and not as approachable if I were wearing business attire. If your event is in a higher class area or business/location you may want to dress up more. Whatever you choose to wear, make sure it is ironed and looks nice so you represent your company (and yourself) well.
How to get leads and new contacts for your business:
The most important reason to do vendor events is to get those new contacts and leads for your business – contacts that you can follow up with. The easiest way to do this is to a drawing for a prize! It can be products you have in stock or a gift certificate. The amount is up to you and should be based on the size of the event. For a smaller event, I may do just a $15 gift certificate. For a very large event, I may do a gift basket with $100 worth of products in it. I put out a few clipboards with a drawing slip and a sign about the drawing. The drawing slip asks for their name, address, phone #, email and then has a few check boxes asking their interest in learning more about earning free products by hosting a party, earning an income by beginning their own business and learning more about our fundraiser program. I do ask them to fill it out completely. While they are filling it out I will have a quick conversation with them. If they check off yes on any of the boxes I will go ahead and follow up right then and see if I can share more information or find out more about what specifically they are interested in.
Not everyone will want to fill out a drawing slip. Not everyone who fills it out is really interested in your product or company, some just want a chance to win a prize. The rule of 100 no’s to get 10 yeses applies to vendor events too.
Remember to smile and be friendly to everyone! Say hello, ask them how they are, compliment them, invite them into the booth. Use open ended questions to start a conversation. How long has it been since you’ve seen our products? How long has it been since you’ve been to one of our parties? What problems are you having that we can help you solve with our products? Be genuinely interested in helping people. You do not need to be pushy or sales person like to be successful in direct sales.
The #1 Rule to make your vendor events successful
You may give out 200 business cards and get 100 drawing slips filled out. You may even get a booking or two on the spot. All of that is great and an essential part of building your business, but you need do to one more thing to make sure your vendor event is successful. You must follow up. Let me repeat, you must follow up! “The fortune is in the follow up” they say and I promise you that is the truth! You need to call your leads within 24-48 hours to follow up, especially potential hosts and recruits. People lose 10% of the excitement each day so if you wait a week to follow up they are already going to be 70% less excited than when you spoke to them. Be sure to add people to your email list if they included their email and marked that they wanted to be added to your newsletter list. I always email everyone who didn’t check off any particular boxes and thank them for stopping by my booth and offer a coupon or shipping discount on their first purchase made within 30 days too.
Vendor events can be a great way to build your direct sales business. When I started, did not know that many people. I have since grown a lot of local family and friends. They are the main way that I build my customer base over the past seven years. I love doing the events, I love meeting and talking to new people and making new connections. I especially love letting people know that my direct sales company (Tupperware) is still out there and that I am their local connection and happy to help them!
10,000 spaces @ Hazel Park Raceway
June, August 2017
No guns, knives, weapons, fireworks
Laurel Park Place 37700 Six Mile, Livonia, MI 48152
A UNiqUe Exhibition
Some of most famous entrepreneurs came from Michigan: