10 Simple Tricks To Make More Sales At An Exhibition

10 Simple Tricks To Make More Sales At An Exhibition

This past weekend I went to a wedding fair with my gorgeous daughter who is getting married next year. Obviously, the venue was packed with both exhibitors and also with hundreds if not thousands of people who were ready, willing, and able to spend lots of money.

What became apparent very quickly was that although there were many vendors selling exactly the same thing, some were surrounded by loads of people chatting about the products and services, whilst others were stood completely on their own with no interaction from with the public whatsoever.

But why was this? Why if two businesses with selling practically the same thing were one taking multiple orders and the other absolutely nothing. I wanted to know and as part of my never-ending research, I decided to stand back and watch. And this is what I found out.

The differences between the vendors making money and getting no business at all were blatantly obvious. My observations are below so that if you sell at a trade show, exhibition, craft fair or any other event and want to get those all-important sales rolling in, take heed of the points below.

1.      Be welcoming and smile

Obvious really. But as I walked past so many stands it was obvious that the vendors who looked happy and smiling and seemed to be enjoying the day were getting lots more interest than those who stood looking as if they had been dragged there with a gun to their head.  Yes really!  Some looked so miserable that I wondered if I ought to call the Samaritans for them!  This was supposed to be a happy day for brides to be.  They didn’t want to go talk to someone who looked like they were bored out of their brains.

There was also one stand where the lady was constantly on her mobile phone. Once I spotted this I thought I would keep an eye on her see how long it was before she looked up. I was staggered. I watched as reams and reams of people walked past her stand and were completely ignored. This went on for well over 5 minutes. So, I decided to walk over to her stand and pretend to take an interest in it. I pointed out a few things to my daughter and spoke loudly enough to make it clear that we may be purchasing something. But do you know what? She didn’t lift her head! I honestly couldn’t believe it to the point that I was so stunned I stood and took a photo of her with her head still staring at the screen. She still didn’t look up. Now I’m not sure whether she owned the business or was there to represent it and I was very tempted to send this photo and my observations to the business owner but my daughter has told me that would be cruel. I would welcome your thoughts on this. As a business owner if I sent someone to represent my business I would want to know if this was happening. My daughter sees it from the other side that I could lose someone their job. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments

2.      Start a conversation

The next thing I noticed was that the vendors getting interaction were also being proactive in getting people to their stand.  They spoke to people as they walked past and asked a question.  Many of the venue exhibitors asked if we had chosen a venue yet as we walked by.  Cake makers asked if we would like to taste a new recipe.  Photographers asked if we would like a free photo to remember the day by.  This sparked a conversation.  It wasn’t pushy or salesy.  We were at an exhibition for goodness sake and were expecting to talk to people and for them to show us what they had available.

The vendors not getting any interaction were those who stood waiting for people to come to them and strike up a conversation.  Wrong!!!  The proactive vendors were getting all the business.  If you’re too shy to get out and talk to people and to engage with them, don’t bother setting up your stall.  Either get someone else to do it for you or don’t bother exhibiting.  So often people buy people first and this was the case with us.  We are intending to buy from a lady who was so jolly and happy that she brightened our day and stood out from everyone else.

Smile and engage with prospects

3.      Ask questions

When you do get somebody to come and speak with you keep the conversation going by asking questions. The difference was staggering between those that simply asked what date is your wedding, have you booked ‘xyz’ yet and left it at that and those who then went on to ask probing questions to find out more about my daughter and her wants and needs. The interactive vendors such as a lovely cake maker we met asked questions such as how many people are coming to your wedding, do you have any guests that are gluten intolerant, what’s your favourite cake type, what does your fiancé prefer. All these questions made my daughter feel that someone was genuinely taking an interest in what she wanted and also gave the cake maker all the information she needed to tailor the rest of the conversation around specific needs and wants of my daughter.

4.      Two ears one mouth

Leading on from this, this cake maker also put into practice the art of knowing that she had two ears and one mouth and used them in those proportions.  Basically, she listened more than she spoke. This was in direct contrast to an exhibitor who decided to real off a list of facts and figures about what they could offer which was of no interest to us at all. This very quickly left us bored and disinterested and so we walked away. In all probability that particular exhibitor was selling what we wanted but as they took no interest in finding out our specific needs and would not stop talking so we couldn’t get a word in edgeways, they lost our business.

Leading on from what I have been discussing above I want to give you a specific example. As we walked past and anti-aging product exhibitor they pounced on me and told me they had exactly what I needed in my life. The woman then proceeded to grab an eye cream and start to try to apply it to my face. She told me what awfully dark patches I had under my eyes and how many wrinkles I had got. She then told me that her 60-year-old mother was using this product who it had worked miracles for. There are two key points here that I am now going to lead on to.

Ask questions

Image courtesy of www.bridetheweddingshow.co.uk

5.      Sell what people want, not what you want to sell

Firstly, how did she know that dark patches and wrinkles were my main concern? If she had bothered to ask any questions she may have found out that it was my dry skin that was more of a concern to me. It was obvious she had no interest in what I wanted to buy but only that she wanted to sell this particular product to me. Not a good move. If she had found out more about me it is possible (although highly unlikely when you read the next point) that I would have bought something from her that was suitable to my needs.

6.      It’s not what you say, it’s not what you do, it’s how you make people feel

I’m not quite sure what this lady was trying to achieve, whether it was the fear factor that I was old and haggard and needed to stop this ageing process in its tracks, or whether she was genuinely concerned at how bad I looked. The result though was she made me feel so bad about myself but I wanted to run away from her as fast as I could. Personally, I don’t think I look too bad but obviously, this woman thought differently. She had also insulted me by implying from her comment that has 60-year-old mother used the product that I was of the same age. I didn’t bother to enlighten her that I am actually a full 10 years younger. So be careful with your choice of words and be very much aware app how you make people feel.

7.      Know what you are selling

Well, you would think this one was obvious really but when we spoke to the man at the Limousine and transport section he had no idea what was on offer. He asked if we had booked our transport to which I replied no but I didn’t think he could help as we weren’t after a Bentley or limousine but were looking for a Volkswagen camper van. He then said, “well we might have one”. “Ooh, I said” getting excited “do you?”.  “Well, I don’t know.  I think I heard someone talking in the office about one but you’ll have to speak to them”. He proceeded to tell me that I would have to give them a call. Well, I didn’t really want to do that as the whole purpose of going to the exhibition was to get all the information we needed there and then, not to have to spend time scrolling through websites and making phone calls. But it got worse. He waved a leaflet under my nose and told me again I needed to make a phone call to the office. I asked to have a leaflet with the number on it to which he told me I couldn’t!

8.      Have enough business cards and info leaflet

He told me that was his last leaflet so I couldn’t have it. He didn’t have a pen or paper to jot the number down, the name of the company or the website address. He didn’t have a business card. He said he had only taken a few leaflets. Honestly, folks, if you are going to any type of exhibition you should be able to find out the likely footfall so take enough business cards, flyers, brochures etc so you don’t run out. And if all expectations are exceeded and you do run out at least have a notebook and a pen to take details so you can send information on. Which leads me on to my next point.

marketing material

9.      Take email addresses

When attending an exhibition, yes, you are there to make sales on the day, but also to create leads for future business. How are you going to keep in contact with all these people you meet and talk to if you don’t take any of their details? I really was amazed, quite possibly because I guess I’m the queen of follow-up, how many people after we had expressed a strong interest in what they were selling, handed as a leaflet and told us to get in contact when we were ready. Let me tell you, when we returned home we must have had a small rainforest of leaflets between us and there is no way that we could remember which related to which person we have spoken to. So, the people that impressed us the most will quite possibly lose our business to someone else. Simply because they didn’t take our details.

It’s so simple to ask visitors to your stand for their email address so why not do it? We were more than willing to give an email address to those who asked for it. That’s what people expect when they go to shows. There were those that asked for our email address in exchange for entering us into a competition and there were also those who quite simply asked for our email address to send us a quote, such as the cake maker I mentioned earlier. We were more than happy to hand this information over. If you don’t take details from people you don’t deserve to have their business in the future. There Is no way you are going to be able to contact them again. Don’t think they will remember you. They most likely won’t! And why should they have to follow up with you? You should be following up with them and standing out from the crowd. And this leads into my final point.

Take contact details

image courtesy of www.bridetheweddingshow.co.uk

10. Follow up

When someone has bothered to give you the email address and told you that they are happy for you to keep in contact do just that! Keep in contact and follow up! It was whilst discussing the number of people who don’t bother to do any follow-up be that my daughter told me a staggering fact. Two weeks previously, whilst I was away on holiday she attended another wedding fair. She told me that she must have given out her email address nearly 50 times. But guess what? Only one person bothered to follow up with her! I was stunned when I heard this and had to get her to repeat it to me again as I honestly thought I had misheard. People had taken her email address and yet only one had responded. Staggering!

But the one who had responded really shone out to her. Why? Because they responded the very same day. This impressed my daughter so much. By the time she had returned home in the evening there waiting for her was an email telling her how lovely it was for the owner of the business to have met with her that day. How did this make her feel? Going back to my point about it’s not what you say, it’s not what you do, it’s how you make people feel, she felt valued. She felt warm and fuzzy inside. She felt that someone had taken notice of her as a person and didn’t just treat her as a number. And as she said to me, that’s the lady I’m going to be buying from.

Let’s say the other 49 people at some point decide to get off their backsides and get in contact with her again. As she has already attended another exhibition she is more than likely to have forgotten them so their efforts will be wasted. It really doesn’t take a lot to set up an email thanking people for attending your stand and for chatting to you and to send that out to everybody the same day of the exhibition.  This really could be the difference between getting so many more sales and losing out on significant business.

So, there we have it. My experience of attending a wedding fair and the observations I made of those making sales and those who didn’t. If you have any tips of your own or any stories that you would like to share please put them in the comment below. I personally reply to every one.

P.S. I did a Facebook live on these points when I returned from the exhibition. If you would like to join in the conversation or simply watch the video hop on over and take a look.

How To Supercharge Your Business (And Life) With One Powerful Tip

How To Supercharge Your Business (And Life) With One Powerful Tip

Guest post by Hazel Butler from The Write Copy Girl

A few years ago I was in a really bad way. Severe illness had decimated my health and career. A disastrous relationship had gutted me emotionally. My life had gone up in flames (literally, my ex set the house on fire). I was living in my mum’s box room, flat broke, in tens of thousands of pounds worth of debt, and utterly devoid of hope.

Starting my own business was a revelation for me. Working on my terms, to my timetable. I could focus on what I love (writing), earn a living, and still have time to work on my health.

Entrepreneurship was a gift from the gods, truly, but it wasn’t half a lot of work…

How I Escaped The Eternal Hamster Wheel…

For the first couple of years I did okay. I paid down my debt. Everything ticked over. But I was nowhere near the income level needed to bust me out of the rut in which I was myred. I craved independence, freedom, an escape from the eternal hamster wheel of marketing (not to mention my mother’s box room). I’d done all the courses, watched all the vlogs, read all the blogs; I’d devoured everything I could find on digital marketing but something wasn’t quite clicking.

It was kind of working.

I had clients, money was coming in, I was steadily raising my profile, it just wasn’t enough

Enter Angie Taffs: The Woman Who Changed My Business (And Life)…  

Hustling my butt off for a couple of years had one tangible benefit: I had a lot of friends and contacts in the entrepreneurial world. One of those was Angie. I was a member of her Facebook group, and had been following her for a while, so when a webinar she was running popped up in my newsfeed, I jumped right on it.

Little did I know…

Angie’s webinar was a revelation. She shared one fairly simple tip for managing clients and it transformed my business. I honestly wouldn’t have believed how powerful it was until it actually happened.

The premise is really simple: give people a free sample of what you can do; leave them craving more.

Yes, free.

Not a freebie, or a download, a cheat sheet, or a blog/vlog, an actual sample of your paid products or services.

I baulked at this to begin with. Badly. I’m a copywriter. Offering a free sample of my work meant a lot of work for me. Writing a whole blog post, in fact. But Angie’s explanation made a great deal of sense, and while I was going great guns building my tribe, I was really struggling to convert them.

Educating them on the benefits of hiring a copywriter to produce regular, awesome content was easy enough. Getting them to take that final leap was considerably harder.

Hiring a freelancer is scary.


What if they’re a bad fit? What if they can’t really write? What if they take your money and don’t deliver? What if, what if, what if…

Allaying Their Fears And Showing My Chops…

Much as it made me flinch, I had faith. I began offering a free blog post. No strings, no catch. An actual, bonafide, free version of a service that would usually set you back (at that time) £25.

Totally free.

This did two things: allayed my tribe’s fears and concerns about making that final leap, and allowed me to really show my writing chops. It’s one thing to say you’re a great copywriter, it’s quite another to hand over a shining, polished, perfect example of exactly what you can do for a person’s business, complete with all the bells and whistles (in my case, royalty free images, memes, and a week’s worth of Tweets…yes, still for free!).

The Results Of Angie’s One Super Powerful Trick…

The response was phenomenal.

In marketing, a 2% conversion rate is reasonably good. 5% is good. 10% is epic. Anything above 10% is magical wildfire of supernatural origin.

The free post I instigated using Angie’s method has…wait for it… a 75% conversion rate.

Not kidding.


Yes, it’s a lot of work writing them, but it’s so worth it!

Here’s How You (More Than) Double Your Income…

You want serious numbers? I analysed the conversions on my free blog post, here’s what I found…

  • Three out of four people who sign up for a free post become paying clients.
  • Of those clients, one in three spend an average of £35 on a one-off service.
  • One in three spend an average of £300 on either a one off service bundle, or repeat business in lower-ticket items.
  • One in three spend an average of £3,500 on monthly blog packages (and that’s just how much they had spent in December 2016 – most are still monthly clients, so that figure gets higher every month!).
  • One in three of these new clients recommend me to a friend, who sign up for their own free post, or simply buy a service outright, to the tune of £500 a piece (again, on average, again, growing each month!).
  • The financial reward I receive is over £1,000 per free blog post I write (including those that don’t convert) and growing monthly.

Supercharge Your Business

The Bottom Line…

Since I started running this offer, my business has thrived. I soon had a gaggle of clients. I put my prices up, expecting to lose a fair few. I didn’t lose any. I kept on hustling, and before the year was out I was debt free, and living in a house of my own. I invested more in the tech needed to action Angie’s epic system, and experienced another big boom in my income.

I had more clients than I could handle.

After rebranding and refocusing entirely on copywriting, I put my prices up again.

The free posts I offer are now worth £55 a piece, and they are still available for free to all new clients. I’ve not done the maths on the offer since the end of 2016, but I can tell you that my monthly income has more than doubled since then. Angie’s offer isn’t the only thing affecting that; I launched a new vlog in January that had a massive impact. But content marketing can only get you so far. It builds you tribe, it grows your list, but you still need that ineffable magic charm that converts your audience into paying clients.

That gives them the final shove.

Of all the coaches I’ve worked with, watched, read and listened to, Angie is the only one who showed me exactly how to do this. For that reason alone, I refer to her as The Woman Who Changed My Business.

But she didn’t just change my business, she also transformed my life.

If you want your business to be the mechanism that enables you to live a happy, fulfilling life of freedom, doing what you love best, this girl can show you how…

Thanks, Angie, you’re an absolute superstar!

Many thanks to Hazel Butler from The Write Copy Girl for this wonderful guest post.  Having feedback like this fills me with joy and makes all my work worthwhile.

Angie x

How to create raving fans through social media

How to create raving fans through social media

I do my best to support small independent traders, so just recently I made several purchases from members of my Facebook group along with a few from promotions I had seen in other groups, all of whom were small business owners.

I made a point of letting people know I had purchased in order to help boost their posts and help promote their business.

The response I got was quite varied.

The first lady I purchased off and left a comment for, saying how excited I was to have placed my order and was looking forward to receiving my goods, completely ignored my comment.  Not even a like even though I had tagged her!  However, a comment below mine got an instant response from someone who was obviously a friend as she said she would drop the order over when they went out for drinks later.

How did that make me feel?

Ignored (obviously) and that my purchase was insignificant and not of any value to her.

A few days later I received my product and that was that.

The second purchase that I left a comment for did manage to get a ‘like’ but no reply or further interaction with me.

How did this leave me feeling?  That she wasn’t really bothered by my purchase either.  Another example of how not to create raving fans for her business.

Again, product received but this time with a card asking me to rate the business on social media.  Hmm!  Now then.  As I had been ignored previously, would I take time out to do this.  Maybe, maybe not.

How to create raving fans

Now take a moment to compare this was another purchase further along the line.

Here I did exactly the same.  Completed the purchase and left a comment on their promo post whilst tagging them so they couldn’t miss it.

The difference in the response I got here was so far removed from the first couple.

Hallelujah!! Someone cares!

I had a reply to my comment thanking me so much for my support and that she was as excited as I was about sending my purchase to me as I was in receiving it as she knew I would love it.

Between my order and my receipt of the same, the lady kept me fully updated via email.  Again, I received an email thanking me for my order and with an expected dispatch date.  I then received a lovely email saying how my order had just been lovingly wrapped and taken to the post office so would be with me soon.

When the order arrived, it was beautifully packed in tissue paper and tied with a piece of ribbon along with a business card that had a handwritten message on.

How did this purchase make me feel?  It made me feel valued and warm and fuzzy inside that I had supported a small business that really appreciated my support.

Out of these three businesses, who do you think I will return to when I go to make future purchases?  Which ones are creating raving fans and which ones aren’t?  I’ll give you one guess.

The moral of the story here is that if you are going to promote your business on social media, then get social!  If someone takes the time to make a purchase and flag up your business to try and support you, then at least have the courtesy to respond to them.  It only takes a few seconds to say thank you.

Remember, it’s now what you say or what you do, it’s how you make people feel that matters and will determine if they return to you to buy from you again or not.


Does this resonate with you?  Yes or no?  Leave a comment and let me know below.

Stop selling and make more sales

Stop selling and make more sales

Stop selling and start to make more sales

Really?  Yes, I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but trust me on this one.

As I tell all my clients, the sales process has changed over the years.  People no longer want to be sold to.  They want to gather information, get recommendations from people they trust, search for comparable solutions and take their time to make a decision on their final purchase.

The old style hard sell approach has little room in today’s environment.

If you want to make more sales and to turn a prospect into a client, you need to nurture a relationship rather than going for a kiss me quick sale.  Take the time to build trust and gain respect that will get you remembered for when that person is ready to buy.  Give them something for free to show them how good you are and get them to want to come back and buy.

Here is an example that happened just a short while ago.

I do as much as I can to help people and to give them tips and advice for free.  I do this to build relationships and is a reason for setting up my Facebook group so that others can share their valuable advice to support each other.

Take time to build relationships


This builds trust and respect and many of my clients come from this group.

One day in the group, a lady asked for some help.  It was outside of my expertise so I tagged someone else who I knew was an expert in this particular field.  What this person did was jump straight in with a sales pitch.  No offer of support or just a quick tip.  Just sell, sell, sell.

The lady who asked the question was not looking to buy.  She had merely asked a quick question. I then found someone else who I thought may have an answer and she promptly gave some valuable advice and was more than happy to help.

What transpired from this was twofold.

The person who went straight into sales mode didn’t do herself any favours at all.  I spoke to the lady who asked the original question and she felt uncomfortable being sold to when she had merely asked for a quick bit of advice.  Additionally, I personally shall never suggest anyone goes to this person for help in the future.  I also suspect anyone else in the group who saw the conversation may be reluctant to turn to her also.

However, the second person who answered the question did so in such a manner and was so helpful that she gained a new client over the course of the next couple of weeks.  The lady asking the question was so impressed with her willingness to help and the quality of the response she got, that whilst she was not initially looking to buy, she saw the value of working with this lady.  She also decided to sign up to my membership club as she was confident that I could her source information even if I didn’t have the answers myself and again, was impressed at how I went out of my way to help her.

Create an environment in which people want to buy from you


So think about how you can change from trying to sell to creating an environment in which people want to buy from you.  It’s not as hard as you think.

Think about how you can

  • Help your prospects by sharing tips and advice
  • Entertain them with real life stories and quotes so they get to know and like you.
  • Educate them as to what they need to do to solve their pain point and why they need to do it
  • Inspire them to them to buy from you by providing the solution to their problem

You may be surprised that when you stop selling you start to make more sales!


P.S. If you are not already in my Facebook group but would like to join for advice and to share tips of your own, hop over and join now

A simple way to make more sales

A simple way to make more sales

Make more sales with a smile

I am passionate about the importance of customer service and the huge difference this can make to small business success. So many local traders get this right but there are still so many that get it so horribly wrong.

This past weekend I went to a local food fair. The fair was packed and the producers, without exception, had some fabulous products on sale. I could easily have spent a small fortune and purchased something from each and every one of them.

But the difference in customer service was quite marked.

As I went around, there were the stall holders that smiled as I went by and exchanged pleasantries and light hearted banter without trying to hard sell me. There were those that offered a free tasting (always a winner in my book) but without making feel me feel as though I had to buy.

There was the fish man who was cooking up a great pan of mussels and as I walked by told me I looked cold so gave me a dish full to eat as I walked round and to keep my hand warm by holding the bowl. The mussels were gorgeous and after I had walked around the show I went back to him and bought some fish.

Customer service begins with a smile.

There was the lady selling home made Christmas puddings. She offered me a leaflet whilst engaging in general conversation about Christmas dinner. She then gave me a taster as I was leaving her stall. She made me feel welcome and that she was interested in me and so I went back and purchased from her.

Then there was the chap selling wine who seemed to be only giving tasters to his own family. Last year at the fair I purchased 2 cases of wine from him. This year, as he left me standing there feeling like an idiot, I purchased nothing from him.

There was the chocolatier, whose cake I desperately wanted to purchase. I was completely ignored the first time I went to the stall but gave him the benefit of the doubt and returned again. This time I had my husband by my side and we were discussing how much we liked the cake and wondered how much it cost, but we got both ignored again. I even went back a third time and found the man and his wife in conversation with another potential customer so my hopes were raised, but even though I stood there for a good 5 minutes, they made no effort to engage with me. They lost a sale!

I then went over to buy some cider (my husband lives on the stuff) but as soon as I saw the downcast face of the lady behind the stall I decided I ought to call the Samaritans to come and have a chat with her. She looked thoroughly fed up and even though I tried to start a conversation with her about the different ciders, there was nothing coming back my way. I left empty handed.

Sunday’s example reminded of when I was with a group of businesses who went to a local show in order to promote their products. Those that put a smile on their face and made a bit of effort did really well on the day. Those that stood back moaning among themselves and making no effort to go out and interact with the public failed to make the sales. They were all in the same tent. They all had the same exposure. But some left complaining bitterly that it was a waste of time and blaming everything and everyone but themselves. Others left with huge smiles on their faces and money in their pockets.

So if you are a small trader and want to make more sales with no extra expense or marketing, try smiling. Try talking to your customers as an individual person and take an interest in them. If possible, let them try a sample of your product rather than viewing them as scroungers. And if you know someone who gives exceptional customer service, let me know so I can give them a shout out.

Such a simple way to make more sales.