Ways to work your Direct Sales business without doing parties Part 1 – Vendor Events
Let me first say, that the reason that direct sales parties/presentations work is because you are expanding your network of potential customers. So, if you don’t want to do parties, you will need to find other ways to connect with potential customers, and vendor events are a good way to do it.
When I started in my business a number of years ago, these were GOLD! You could go, get lots of sales, usually a couple of hostess leads and likely even a recruit or two, now a days, it isn’t always the same. I actually believe that these vendor events have hurt our industry a bit. Most new reps don’t realize that that the event is more then just making a few sales, there is WAY more follow up, because you have not now build a relationship with those people one at a time (vs. a party where you can build a relationship with multiple people at the same time). Also, the cost of the shows are going up, and at many shows the attendance is declining. These have simply become mini malls, and your customer has no relationship built with you.
Things to keep in mind when you are thinking about doing a vendor event.
- The Cost – you can likely will pay anywhere from $10-$10,000. This depends on where the event it held, how much advertising, and some things that just don’t make sense to us. Personally, I have paid anywhere from $10 a days to a max of $350 a day. Don’t be fooled however thinking a $200 day event will have more traffic and more sales. I did a $20 event one, and sold $800 in product, and I have done a $350 event a day, talked to 2 customers and sold NOTHING.
- Extra investment – you are going to need to have lots of marketing materials on hand. You want to get that into as many people’s purses, hands, bags as possible. But make it stand out. I was at a vendor event just this weekend and a lady had little mini catalogs in a cellophane bag with a little chocolate. Well, you are definitely going to have people open those up to get to the candy! Also, you may need to have special insurance to do larger events, so keep that in mind.
- Time – this is a big one for me. Travel time, set up time, time at the event, tear down time and travel time home. That can eat up a WHOLE day. Make sure that this is the best use of your time.
- Stock – some businesses do better having stock on hand, while others are ok with ordering. That is a judgement call for you and your business
- Having a way to collect information – you are going to want to do a ballot box, sign up sheet, something, but those name and contact is GOLD in this business.
- FOLLOW UP – you have heard that the fortune is in the follow up – this is definitely the case after a vendor events. You are going to want to touch base in some way with EVERYONE that stopped by your both and gave you contact information. I like to offer an incentive in an email to anyone who fills out a ballot. Also, anyone who mentions that they are interested in a party or more information about the opportunity – I call! Phone is still the best more personal approach.
So, those are some of the tips on Vendor Events – check back next Monday for our tips on one on one shopping experiences!