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Published on : Saturday, December 19, 2015
Fill up your meetings diary: Be proactive and pre-schedule meetings with as many potential buyers as you can. Being reliant on walk-in business is not a targeted approach, and is not very effective. The INDABA online diary and matchmaking system is available to all confirmed exhibitors and will connect you with the right buyer suited for your business. Registrations open 7 January, 2016.
Do your homework on new buyers: Research new buyers attending INDABA before they make appointments. This is help you establish whether they are good potential partners, and allows you to tailor-make your product offering to suit each buyer.
Listen carefully to understand what the buyer wants: Before you start your sales pitch, ask questions and listen carefully to the answer. This is especially true for the unscheduled buyers, and there will be many. Eliciting information at the outset will help you determine if the conversation is worth pursuing and if so, give you an idea for how to package your sales. If your business is not what they want, be honest enough to say so, but be business-savvy enough to recommend an alternative (perhaps you have another, more suitable product), even if it is just for consideration.
Get to the point. Don’t bore with unnecessary information: Sales pitches must be succinct and to the point. Remember, buyers stopping at your stand are there for one thing: to find a product or destination that offers their clientele something different, something exciting. Establish the most unique and exciting thing about your product or region and begin with that.
Business is not always at the stand. Step away and network: As busy as it may be, make time to network and meet other exhibitors. This is not only a great way to reconnect with old acquaintances and make new contacts, but it gives you a chance to see how competitors are selling their product and how you can learn from them.
Cover all your bases: Exhibitors should have a team that focuses on different areas: maintaining relationships with buyers; maintaining relationships with peers and attending workshops.
Follow up, follow-up, follow-up: If you don’t have time to email your contacts on a daily basis, try to do so within seven days of returning. If you promised to send information, do so immediately when you have a gap. Business cards get lost and people forget, so an email to thank them for stopping will go a long way in reminding people who you are, what you offer and give them an option to receive regular communication from your organisation.
Give feedback: INDABA can only be a good as the previous year’s show but we rely on your feedback on how to make it an even better platform for exhibitors. It will not always be possible to implement all suggested changes, but your feedback is still valuable.
INDABA takes place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal, from 7 – 9 May.
Exhibitor registrations for INDABA are open and will remain open until April 2016. Discount structures are available.