I participate in sales events once a month in various locations. There are two reasons I go to these events. One, sell my work. Second, meet with my customers. I go to these sales events, open up a table, layout my drawings on the table, and I sell them. Pretty straightforward. The question is, when does the sales event start? The event doesn’t start when you arrive at the venue, or when you open the table, or when your first customer shows. That is the beginning of the end.
Your sales event starts way earlier. How early? It starts when you make a commitment to participate as a vendor/or host at the event. When you arrive at the venue, and you don’t know how much you will sell that day, it is almost over, the risk is high.
When you try to sell yourself as a brand, 90% of the sale is done before the event. The other 10%, which is critical, is showing up. Without the final 10%, the previous 90% is wasted.
So what is in the 90% prior to the event? I am going to point out what I do to ensure a great turnout (ROI positive). Each item can be another long post, and I will dig deep on each one of them in future posts.
Set goals: What do you want to achieve during the event? How do you measure if you have reached your goal at the end of it?
Planning: What will you do to achieve your goals? If your goal is to sell products and make a profit, how much do you need to sell? Do you need to order extra inventory? If so, by when, and how much do you need? If you want to meet your audience, what will you do to make sure they show up?
Marketing: People don’t just come to your event just because you will be at the event, unless you are super famous. In that case, you should stop reading. Even if you consider yourself have a big following on social media, say, 20,000 followers, expect 1% of your followers who see your event announcement, and 1-5% of that 1% will show up and buy something at your event. That is 10 people on a good day. Stop worrying about how many people like your event on social media, focus on what story you can tell your followers so they are motivated enough to act.
Logistics: What method of payment will you accept at the event? How will you package the products? How long does it take to complete the payment and packaging? Will you have a roof? What if it rains? Will you have tables and chair? Will there be power outlet? How is the lighting at the event?
Pricing: How much will you price your product? Will people spend that kind of money at the event? What are your most profitable items? Do you have a plan to drive people’s attention to your profitable items,? What will you say to convince them to buy? Do you have pricing tiers, or will everything costs the same (not a good idea)?
Help: How much traffic do you expect? How much profit do you expect? Will it take a long time to convert a customer? Will it make sense to hire someone to handle the cashier for you so you can spend/enjoy more time chatting with your customers. Do you need help moving your products in and out? Will the venue provide any help?
I hope this short post helps you start thinking about how to prepare your next sale event. It certainly helped me. Thought? Leave a comment.