Death By Sales Pitch – For You And Me
A sales event is an excellent element of an integrated marketing strategy that allows you to get face to face with your potential customers.
Done correctly, a sales event can be one of the key components of your sales funnel and can not only drive direct sales but also act as an opportunity to drive your credibility. But done incorrectly, you can leave a bad taste in the mouths of your potential customers, and destroy any credibility you were hoping to build, says Sally Porteous. Check out these tips on how to get a sales event right.
I was at the local Leagues Club to listen to an industry leader share their insights in a field that she had recently taken a lot of interest in. It was advertised as a workshop. Since it was free, I was expecting there to be some sales pitches throughout and at the follow-up.
First up, I saw a pull-up banner advertising the speaker, and then there was an unmanned registration desk that had name-tags laid out on it. They were not in any particular order, but I eventually found my name and noticed a bowl with a sign to drop in her business card for the lucky door prize.
I was greeted very warmly by the venue staff who indicated where the refreshment station was. People were getting their refreshments, some were talking, but most had headed straight to a seat in the back row, I joined them. Someone that looked like the Presenter was at the front of the room mucking around with cables, trying to get a laptop to work, while a guest who is in IT helped them trying valiantly to get the sound working. Eventually, it was all up and running, and the last of the guests took their seat, and the presentation started.
With the presentation over, I left the event feeling like I had wasted my time. However, I also had a lecture pad full of notes on how this Presenter could have produced a much better workshop and achieved the following on the business they were attempting to garner.
Yes, that’s right, this was a ‘sales seminar,’ not a ‘workshop’ as advertised where some information was shared, some sales pitches thrown in for good measure, and then a little bit more information. There were no informative stories, case studies or solutions, just sales pitch after sales pitch. It was so filled with sales pitches. At this point in time, I believed that I could probably sell you the product right now.
I felt that I couldn’t let this person go on destroying their brand in this way, so I called them and offered to meet with them and share how I thought they could have produced a much more practical workshop, and still sell their product at the same time.
Here’s what I told them:
1) Begin the journey from the moment people book.
2) On arrival at the venue, make it easy for people to find the room that the event is in.
3) Once the room is found, the registration desk MUST be manned.
4) At registration, you need to explain what will happen with people’s business cards after you have taken them home.
5) If there’s room, put out some sales information that people can pick up and take with them.
6) Another tool to have INSIDE the room is a table that has brochures, products, or information displayed so again; there is something to distract people if they don’t feel like talking to strangers.
7) But most critically, YOU, the host, should be at the refreshment station, mingling, networking and introducing guests to each other.
8) BUT you shout, I’ll be sorting out the AV and getting my presentation ready! No, you won’t, because you will have gone through your pre-event checklist, at least 1.5 hours before doors opening.
9) Throughout your presentation, it’s ok to pitch your products and services to your guests. They are EXPECTING it!
10) Make sure you fill your gift bags (yes you need them) with valuable tools and takeaway material on your services. And don’t forget to include information about what they need to do next.
11) And how do you make sure your guests get all this information? You will be standing at the door shaking everyone’s hands as they exit, giving them a gift bag with all this information in it.
So next time you want to promote your products or services or want to share some knowledge with people, think about delivering a workshop, paid or free, that not only gives them knowledge and tools but also demonstrates for them when it’s essential to call in a professional. While we’re pretty smart, it’s good to know at what point we should call in a professional.