Sarah Breymeier
Earlier this month, Ann and I brainstormed with our exhibitor family about new ideas for “show specials.” It’s a staple in the tradeshow game, but it seems to have lost its luster. Show special becomes so expected that physicians know they can likely extend the savings into the next several weeks to months and it will be honored.
So as we were brainstorming, I started thinking about the traditional specials we see, and how so many of them are focused on acquiring new customers. What if we changed our focus to those that have been with us through thick and thin?
You may already have a show special that works for current customers, but what I’m suggesting is to potentially go all in and make it so amazing that they not only feel like you appreciate their loyalty, but they would be crazy if they ever decided to shop around.
Here are some current customer show specials that I jotted down during our sessions that you might want to consider trying…
First, we now how critical it is to feel that you got immediate ROI out of a conference with actual sales versus leads. What if you took the stress out of that small window of time and made an offer before everyone gets on site. But, you still want to get booth traffic to make the time you are there worthwhile. Consider a promotion that includes something along the lines of, “Purchase XYZ product (or spend, say, $500) BEFORE the show, and when you get here, stop by the booth because we have a free gift for you.” Or the pre-show purchase could be a domino-effect style sale where it unlocks another discount that they have to get on site. Now you’ve gotten immediate revenue from the show special, and you’ve generated a reason to have traffic at your booth.
We know it’s impossible to not have the need to acquire new customers at a conference, so how can we use a current customer promotion that leads to a new customer sale? Referrals of course! When a current customer comes to your booth and you have a show special of say…. 25% off, let’s sweeten the deal a little bit! Tell the doctor to grab a friend/colleague and bring them to the booth for an introduction; then that 25% offer goes up to 50%! The best thing about referrals that happen at conferences is the conversation that ensues. You literally have to do almost no “selling” because the current customer is standing there singing your praises. So let them do the work, but make sure they get the rewards!
Finally, it can be frustrating to know that you are going to, essentially, lose money in discounts because your best customers are going to take advantage of a show special. It can be hard to look at the books and see that someone who always buys product “X” would have probably purchased it at full price anyway, but we feel inclined to give a discount because it’s a conference.
I’m not encouraging you to stop giving current customers discounts, but how can you benefit from it vs. “giving away the farm.” Cross selling, duh!!!
You know they are going to come to your booth and order a good amount of their favorite product. Try this… “Get 20% off the product you purchase the MOST of, and receive 50% off a product you’ve never tried before.”
They know they like your product line, so it isn’t much of a gamble for them to spend a little bit more money on a new product that you don’t need to feel inclined to give away for free.