Author: Jackie Holbrook
There’s much to see and do at the 2019 ATA Trade Show in Louisville, Jan. 10 to 12.
You’ll discover the latest products, catch up with old friends and make new ones, shake hands with bowhunting celebrities, and glimpse government leaders, archery champions and professional athletes walking the floor. The Show is lots of fun, but the main purpose of this member-driven event is for manufacturers to make sales and retailers to score inventory deals to start the year right.
As the bowhunting and archery industry’s largest and most inclusive show, the ATA Trade Show attracts nearly 10,000 people – the sports’ biggest annual buying event. In fact, over 3,000 buyers attend, and ATA staff verifies the credentials of all. Manufacturers must make the most of this huge sales opportunity by coming to the Show with killer sales pitches for their products.
Organize giveaways, have an interactive graphic, or put together anything else that will draw people into your booth. Photo Credit: ATA
Grab Their Attention
You can’t unleash your perfect pitch if retailers aren’t visiting your booth, which will be their first impression of your products. Your booth must be eye-catching, interesting and informative. With hundreds of booths on the Show floor, make yours stand out and draw people in. Your booth must reflect your brand and showcase your products while helping you tell a bigger story. Consider playing a video or photo show the entire time. Hosting special events can also attract crowds.
The Trade Show News Network recently reported that 2018’s top booth trends included personalized experiences for customers like game shows, pixel mapping presentations, and art and technology that displayed messaging. For a unique approach, TSNN suggested fabric displays, convenient seating, and displays featuring an oversized object.
For more insights on drawing people to your booth read 7 Ways to Attract Attendees to Your Booth at #ATA2019.
Consider a Giveaway
Giveaways are great ways to attract people to your booth and get their contact information. Jerry Tepps, the account manager at Pine Ridge Archery, says the company does a giveaway every year. That usually means giving away limited numbers of small items like kisser buttons. Pine Ridge Archery shares the giveaway information in ATA’s Big Buck Tags Coupon Book. Tepps said the giveaways usually get contact information from hundreds of people.
Scott Bakken, director of sales and marketing at HHA Sports, said the company always experiments with giveaways to see what works best. “They can be very, very successful, but they can also not be advantageous,” Bakken said during a phone interview while taking part in a whitetail hunt the company gave away at last year’s Show.
Prepare Your Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a succinct, persuasive sales pitch. Its premise is that you could deliver it in the time you take an elevator ride. These pitches are effective if executed properly. People have short, skeptical attention spans. If you don’t capture their trust and interest quickly, you won’t capture them as customers. Your elevator pitch should last less than a minute and be captivating. You want customers desiring more information.
Put the most important information about your brand in your sales pitch. Photo credit: ATA
Include the Right Information
Your pitch should include an introduction to you and your company, a description of your products and what makes them special, and an explanation of how your products will benefit your customers. Be sure to describe what makes your products stand out.
“It’s a very competitive market out there,” Tepps said. “Tell them what will make yours different, not just pricing and qualities. They need to know what you can offer over everyone else.”
Stock your booth with price sheets, catalogs and other support materials buyers need. Know information like shipping dates, minimum orders, and discounts for bulk orders. If you don’t have instant answers, keep reference materials handy to get information fast.
Practice Your Pitch
Your elevator pitch must be polished and professional. With less than one minute to deliver the information, you can’t afford to stumble through it. Write a draft of your pitch and read it for time, and in the tone you’ll use with potential buyers. Practice speaking clearly and energetically. Review your pitch for redundancies and irrelevancies.
Once your draft is polished, pitch coworkers, friends and family. Ask if the pitch is interesting and easily understood. Watch their face and body language to see if they’re captivated or quickly bored. Be open to feedback. Their questions can help you fill in information. If you use sales reps and prostaff at your booth, make sure they understand and practice the pitch.
Make it Memorable
Don’t fill your pitch with buzzwords and industry terms. Make it real and relatable. “You don’t want to sound like a car salesman,” Bakken said. What makes your product stand out? Sharing customer success stories is a great way to make your pitch personal. If a customer told you how your product helped achieve a goal or met a need, share the story with buyers.
Your display may draw people in, but you have to keep them there. Photo Credit: ATA
“People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy,” says Jeffrey Gitomer, an author, speaker and sales expert. That’s his way of reminding sales people to listen and provide solutions. In Gitomer’s book, “The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource,” he writes: “Questions are to sales as breath is to life. If you fail to ask them, you will die.”
Gitomer’s dramatic description emphasizes the importance of two-way dialogues.
Don’t fall into the trap of reciting your sales pitch and ignoring the conversation. Ask about the buyer’s company and customers. Listen to their needs, and figure out how your products serve them. Tepps thinks these conversations are easy because everyone at the ATA Show shares similar interests.
“You can build that rapport real quick, and when you follow up, say, ‘Hey, remember we talked about that hunt?” Developing a personal connection with buyers can lead to a professional – and personal – relationship.“I have the greatest job in the world,” Tepps said. “I get to talk about hunting all day long at work.”
Show and Tell
As children, we loved show-and-tell. As a buyer, it’s all about show-and-tell presentations. Besides telling buyers about your products, show them your products by stocking your booth with them. Bakken said it’s important to test your products before the floor opens to ensure they work.
Encourage people to handle and inspect your products. Take advantage of the Show’s demonstration lanes so buyers can shoot new bows and other products. You can rent a 30-foot shooting lane for $1,500.
Don’t Skip the Follow-Up
“A lot of people just don’t have time at the ATA Show to swing back by because there’s so much to see, so make sure you get their information,” Tepps said. Pine Ridge Archery’s sales jumped when he became diligent about collecting contact information and following up.
“Look at the ATA Show as building the foundation for everything you do for the year,” Bakken said. He encourages manufacturers to make follow-up calls after the Show, and make sure sales reps are getting in their doors.
“Use the ATA Show to create a buzz and get people talking about your product,” Bakken said. “Don’t get so hung up on walking away with orders in your hands. It’s the start of the year, so take advantage of it to get your brand out there.”
With some preparation you’ll go to #ATA2019 prepared and ready to kill it on the Show floor.