Best practices for events. Part 2–run events & follow up!
I’m so excited to jump right in with part two of best practices for successful direct sales events! Now that you know why you want to add events to your calendar, and how to find the right events and prepare for them, let’s dive into how to run events and follow up.
I just finished up a pretty big event. Direct sales events are definitely my jam. I feed off the energy and love connecting with other vendors… Annnnnd, I’m always shocked at how many super successful small businesses (both direct sales and not) forget that meeting someone at the booth is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Above all, I love to shop small and support other vendors. However, hardly any of these brilliant entrepreneurs asked for my contact info! They didn’t invite me to follow them on FB or Insta. And they didn’t friend me on social media. Shockingly, they didn’t have even a tiny little notebook where I could sign up for their email list. Whommmp, whommp. What a missed opportunity!
Before you become one of “them” and miss opportunities, it’s time to learn how to:
- Run direct sales events including how to talk to people
- Follow up with leads after the event
- Make the best of an event that tanks
RUNNING DIRECT SALES EVENTS! HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO STOP TO TALK AND SHOP.
A great way to draw people in is with a demo or display. Think about a visually appealing way to showcase or share your product.
Also when you see people walking by, say hello and invite them into your booth to take a peek when they glance into your booth and make eye contact with you. If you begin a casual conversation outside of your booth, invite them in to browse around. Some people just need a little encouragement to come in and look.
Speaking of inviting, same goes for your raffle. People love an invite–so be sure to invite people to enter your raffle. Plus, some people may not even notice you have a raffle if you don’t say anything. And you want to get as many people entered to increase your leads! Hand them the clipboard with the raffle entry on it.
Once they’re in your booth keep an eye out but don’t invade their space. When someone shows interest in a product, tell them something you love about it. Then walk away and let them shop. Don’t be a bug! And do your best to encourage people to hold the product and really check it out. Act busy. Straighten up the product on your shelves so you don’t hover around uncomfortably.
Last, but not least, be present and approachable. Don’t sit there looking uninterested and bored, and if possible don’t sit at all! Be out in front of your booth drawing people in. Put your phone down. Smile. Be sure you take advantage of your time there and the connections you can make.
AFTER EVENT FOLLOW UP.
After your direct sales events, you need to follow up with your new leads! I cannot say it enough – the fortune is in the follow-up! Whip out those lead forms from your raffle. Anyone that said yes or maybe to a party or to learning more about the biz is a hot lead and I recommend you send a personalized text within 24 hours. My best results are actually sending a text out that same night of the event!
For all your leads, you want to send an email or text following up. I send an email series or texting campaign to build relationships and share information including inviting them to my VIP group, product recommendations, specials, etc. Be sure to make the most of the connections that you’ve made. It often takes reaching out a few times to finally make a connection – if you’re not getting great results, pick up the phone and call! We are in a relationship business after all.
And remember, sales at events are great, but to measure your success you REALLY want to build long-term relationships. Sometimes you won’t see these results for 6 months, 12 months or even longer. As you continue to cultivate these relationships, you’ll turn those relationships into long-term customers, hostesses and team members.
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WHAT TO DO IF AN EVENT… TANKS.
Sometimes you’ll find a promising event, get ready for it, get there, and then… nothing. Either there aren’t many people stopping to shop or the event itself is just dead, it happens.
And so, if you find yourself at an event that isn’t all you hoped it would be, here are a few ways to take make the most of the time you have:
- Build relationships by networking with other vendors. These folks LOVE to shop small!They may be your next best customer or hostess. Also, take a peek at their set up for some inspiration as you up your booth game.
- Have longer conversations with anyone that does stop by! This is your chance to have a REAL convo about what you love about your biz and really personalize their shopping experience. Take the time and go the extra mile – you’re not swamped.
- Study up by reading about your products to gain product knowledge.
- Follow up with leads from other events.
- Do some customer service. Grab some thank you notes and jot down notes to send out to your best customers.
- Grab your planner or booking notebook. Get organized so you know who is on your list to reach out to (customers, hostesses or teammates).
- Revisit your goals. Take a look at where you’re at now and where you’re going.
Annnnd here’s what you’re NOT going to do! Don’t complain about the event or pack up and leave early. That’s not going to help you reach your goals! And remember you need to still be professional–so don’t grab your phone and ignore everyone.
Before you go, share here if you’re now pumped and feeling super prepared about doing an event! If you missed part 1 of best practices for successful direct sales events including why you want to add an event to your calendar, how to find the right events and how to prepare for them including my super handy event checklist–check it out now.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask away.