The tear down was easy… your spirits soaring… that big broad smile is painted on your face and nothing is taking it away… that big juicy steak dinner won’t be a fantasy much longer because in just a few minutes you’ll be on your way ! Why so much optimism ? Because you just had a fantastic show, people loved your work and now you have thousands of dollars in your pockets.
This is the kind of situation we’d like to have all the time, plenty of money and a positive mental attitude. After a great show it’s easy to have, but even at the worst shows it’s important for us to maintain that feeling of optimism. Customers can perceive a poor attitude immediately and since they came to the event to have a good time, a negative air in your booth will send them running ! Once the customers run, you can ‘t possibly sell them anything, that make you feel worse and the downward spiral of bad sales and bad spirits gains even more momentum. It’s your responsibility to change the attitude and hence the trend of sales.
After years of selling I can tell you that attitude on the part of the salesman is 90% of the game. You can know all the great closes… just the right marketing techniques… have a fantastic display and every other thing needed, but if you don’t have the right attitude you might as well stay home. Personally I’ve always taken the position that “Even though we may not make the most money at an event, we’ll always have the most fun!” And under a bad set of circumstances having the most fun can be difficult but it can be done.
Here are a few thoughts for keeping your spirits up even though sales may be down…
1. “You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs to get a prince” Translation… Every customer who doesn’t buy, brings you that much closer to one who will.
2. “You’ve got to find real frogs… not imitations or substitutes” Translation… Don’t surround yourself with other exhibitors for emotional support, if a customer does come by he may not want to interrupt your conference or you may not see him. Chances are the other exhibitors will just want to tell you how bad the show was for them too. Now you can all make less money than ever because everyone’s spirits will be in the dumper.
3. “Frogs come in all colors and sizes” Translation… Don’t pre-judge a prospective customer. You can’t just look at someone and tell if they have money or appreciate your work. You have to talk to them and give them the chance to buy. None of us (at least most of us) have a crystal ball to predict who the buyers are.
4. “When you find a frog, you have to give him a really big wet kiss, not just a peck on the cheek” Translation… especially if sales are slow at a show, take the time to really talk to the prospective buyer. Ask him questions, find out about his home, his family, his favorite colors, personal tastes and so forth. It’s much easier to sell something to someone when you know what they want. Make sure that if their is any way this customer is parting with money, he parts with it in your booth!
5. “If you want to find a frog, go to the places frogs live” Translation… just as you wouldn’t look for frogs in the parking lot of a mall, don’t look for big crowds at first year shows in obscure places no one knows about. No one has the ability to pick the perfect show every time but you can give yourself a fighting chance by trying to eliminate those events that have little or no promise. If you do select a new show in a new location, realize that you are “rolling the dice” and go with the attitude that you’ll enjoy the show regardless of what happens with sales. You may be pleasantly surprises but you won’t be disappointed.
6. “Not every frog is a prince” Translation… Don’t be disappointed if every shopper doesn’t turn into a customer just because you do everything right. There are far too many variables in a sale to think it’s possible for you to limit all of them. The odds are that if you talk to enough people you’ll wind up with many more customers than if you just sat back and did nothing. Don’t be discouraged.
We could continue talking about the rules of frogs and princes all day long because those rules go on and on but I’m sure by now you get the idea. So much of the fate, destiny and outcome of a show lies in your own hands if you take control of your customers and you take control of the successful outcome of your show. Treat every person that enters your booth as a prospective buyer and you’ll be surprised how many of those people turn out to be loyal repeat customers.
Good luck and good selling at all your shows during the upcoming season !