Trade shows – those of us in the industry continue to claim that they’re getting harder and harder, however, we all feel that there is a big risk in not investing dollars in them at all.
After traveling to countless podiatric trade shows over the last ten years for different companies and for myriad of goals, it appears that the experience and the perceived success ( for the most part ) is simply a state of mind.
For example, if you ask around to those of us “veterans” who have been exhibiting for years, the excitement has dwindled and the days seem long; the return on investment just doesn’t seem to be there. However, if you ask a novice, the complete opposite energy and feedback is provided. The new sales reps have positivity, energy, and hope!
Regardless of which side of the coin a podiatric supplier falls, the long and short of it is that a trade show presence is necessary to maintain current business and to acquire new business.
The nature of podiatrists (especially those in private practice), is that they are typically the sole decision-maker of their business. The exceptions are the practices that have empowered practice managers. Even in these cases, the practice manager isn’t going to make a radical change without consulting the physician. They are the decision makers… and they’re busy. Finding time to read and respond to sales calls and emails is not a part of the daily routine.
Therefore, trade shows give vendors a unique opportunity to not only create awareness, but create interest, and ultimately close a new account. Trade shows are, point-blank, a necessity in the podiatric space.
The difference in what makes a trade show successful from a decade (or more) ago in comparison to today is the communication strategy. Selling just doesn’t work anymore.
Wait. What? Selling doesn’t work? No – it doesn’t. It is repellent.
Hard selling is the quickest way to find your trade show booth empty, depressing, and a big waste of money. Instead, education, awareness, and good old-fashioned customer service is where trade show success now lies.
So know your stuff, answer any questions your customers and/or prospects may have and let the relationship take its course. The right matches between physician and supplier always seem to find their way.