Trade shows are a big deal.
We spend a lot of time planning them, practicing our pitch, preparing our booths, and engaging with everyone who walks by. We do this because we know that every time we attend a trade show, we increase our credibility and exposure in our industry.
It’s our way of saying “we’re players in the wholesale game now.”
The gravy on top is that trade shows usually generate around 30% of all wholesale revenue for most brands. So how do we make sure that we convert all the buyer conversations at the show into actual sales and orders?
Let’s dive into some trade show best practices to help you maximize your chances of getting those wholesale orders placed and shipped!
If You Didn’t Follow Up During the Show - Do it NOW!
Seasoned sellers at the show usually make sure to follow up with buyers during the show whenever they get a break to start their ordering process. If you didn’t get a chance to do this while you were at the show, it’s never too late.
Make sure to immediately follow up with all your buyers who showed interest within 1 to 2 weeks after the show. Any longer than that and buyers can easily forget about your brand and move on, or buy from your competitors!
Craft Follow Up Emails Like a Pro with Elements that CONVERT!
It’s easy to cut corners sometimes to save time, but when it comes to getting that wholesale order, every element counts.
We’ve created an email template based on some of our seller pro tips. Here are the CORE elements for an effective email that buyers love:
Keep it short and simple.
Here are some examples to maximize the open rate:
– “Hi Vicky!”
– “Vicky, here’s your order.”
– “Vicky, your order with MyBrandName.”
– “Vicky, your order will ship in 1 month.”
Personalize the Conversation
Shared Story – remind your buyer of why your brand is a great fit for their store.
Accountability/Commitment – remind your buyer of what you’ve talked about during the show, and what you both have agreed to follow up on.
URL to Customized Line Sheet – We’re living in the 21st century, so let’s not clutter your buyers inbox with attachments they still have to download. Send them a quick link to a customized presentation (line sheet) with products you have discussed. You can easily create these for free with Brandboom.
Learn more about our line sheets here.
Pre-Filled Order Forms – If you know what the buyer wants to order already, make sure you prepare your order forms in advance, and send it along in this follow-up email. If you are using Brandboom, then this process is even easier for your buyers. You can start an order for them, pre-filling their name, and address, along with your payment terms and shipping policies.
Learn more about our order forms here.
End your email with a strong message that resonates with the buyer and your shared end-consumers. Here are a couple of ideas:
Limited Run – adding some urgency by hinting at whether a popular item will sell out quickly is a good way to get buyers to act.
Social Proof— if you have a strong following on Instagram or other social media channels, make sure to add some social proof attached to your signature. Buyers are just like us, they trust brands that we all love and have a connection with!
Track Your Buyer Activity & Keep the Conversation Going
“How do I know if they are still interested?”
This is one of the biggest questions that most wholesale sellers have. With traditional follow-up methods like email, you don’t even know if a buyer has looked at the materials you’ve sent – and that makes it hard to gauge their interest.
However, if you could track views on the line sheets you send online (via email), you could better tailor the conversation with your buyer and send timely responses.
By using an online platform like Brandboom, every presentation (online line sheet) is tracked. You get a notification whenever a buyer views your presentation or places an order online.
Plus, you have the advantage of managing your wholesale product catalog online - which means creating and editing your presentations is as simple as a few clicks.
More Post Trade Show FAQ’s
What about discounts?
Discounts are great to drive urgency, but ONLY if your margins allow you to not lose too much on profit. Remember, you still have to make money.
However, for larger retailers, new brands might discount heavily just so they can get in the door for the season.
What happens when a buyer doesn’t respond?
Don’t worry if some of your buyers don’t respond, it’s not just a waste of effort! Even if they don’t respond right away, you were still able to get your brand in front of them.
If they don’t order this season, you can ask for some feedback and tailor your conversation differently in the following months to come.
When do buyers expect their shipments?
It’s typical that shipments are received between 1 to 3 months of ordering. Make sure to communicate this lead time with your buyers! Remember, they are also operating a business, so it’s important for them to know when they can put your products on their shelves!