Trade Show Sales Tips

Trade shows typically produce lower-cost leads than other communications strategies. They’re the best vehicle for a new company to attract its first customers and the most cost-effective way for small manufacturers with specialized products to find prospects.

Many times, small companies lack the resources to discover which companies need their product. At a major industry show, hundreds, if not thousands, of people will walk by the manufacturer’s booth. Those interested in the company’s products or services will probably stop.

Businesses that sell exclusively to a regional market might want to consider regional trade shows instead. Like their national counterparts, these trade shows attract potential buyers within an industry, but the cost for travel and booth space is often significantly less.

Most industry trade magazines contain information about both national and regional trade shows, so check yours every month for the most recent and relevant listings.

Local, company-promoted specialty shows, such as bridal fairs, equipment shows, home and garden shows, and boat shows, offer another popular option. If you’re a member of the local chamber of commerce, you might even consider hosting a booth at the next business after hours event.

Whatever trade shows you decide to attend, make sure you have plenty of handouts to go around. To save money, have a special one-page handout designed specifically for trade show use. Use it to highlight your competitive advantage, and provide a way for prospects to contact you to request more information.

Designing Direct Mail That Sells

If it sells, it is creative. This, in essence, is the first rule of direct mail design, according to legendary designer and author, David Ogilvy. But what sells? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when designing your next direct mail marketing piece: furniture land direct mail

  • The basics are in your mailbox.
    When you need inspiration, just go to your own personal direct mail idea vault… your mailbox! You probably receive tons of good direct mail each year. Set aside packages that catch your eye. The companies mailing these have spent thousands of dollars researching the best methods. Why not learn from their research?
  • Always try to beat your previous response rate.
    Play around with the design before sending the mailing out again. See if minor changes make a significant difference in the response rate. Send out different versions of your design to similar groups in your database, and test to see which one results in the most responses. Whatever you do, test it, and then test it again!
  • Use words that grab the reader’s attention.
    Here is a recent list of “Words that Grab Attention,” produced by Starch INRA Hooper Research Worldwide:

    Announcing / Discover / Easy / Exclusive / Free / Guarantee / Health / Help / Immediately / Introducing / Know / Learn / Love / Money / New / Now / Powerful / Profits / Protect / Proven / Results / Safe / Save / Secret(s) / Today / Trust / Understand / You

As you design the mailer, remember… have fun!

Four Foolproof Ways to Create a Great Company Logo

Have you taken a close look at your company logo lately? Does it look like it came straight out of the 1980s, or have you kept it up-to-date? An outdated logo can make you look stagnant and stale in the minds of prospective customers. To combat this effect, many companies redesign their logos every few years to keep them fresh. If your company is considering a logo update, here are some tips to help:

  • Choose a logo that looks good large or small. This will allow for more variety in your ads and other printed materials.
  • Keep it simple. Your logo doesn’t have to look fancy to grab attention. Just look at IBM and Apple. Their logos are simple but memorable.
  • revolution data systemsLimit yourself to two or three colors of ink. Having too many ink colors in your company’s logo will put an unnecessary strain on your printing budget – and might actually look distracting, rather than distinctive. A nice-looking, two-color logo will give you the professional look you want at a reasonable price.
  • Use standard ink colors. Custom-mixed inks cost more, and many standard ink colors offer just as unique and professional a look as their more expensive, custom-mixed cousins.

For more great logo ideas, visit our print shop. We can help you develop a distinctive logo at an affordable price. If you already have a logo in mind, we can show you how to use it more effectively on your printing.

Four Keys to More Meaningful Customer Relations

Companies lose an average of 10 to 30 percent of their customers each year. Much of this loss can be attributed to poor service. Companies that focus on customer retention tend to see profits grow anywhere from 25 to 100 percent annually. Nonprofits that focus on customer retention often see reductions in turnover and better results. In business, we all strive to provide outstanding customer service. Unfortunately, we don’t always live up to those ideals. Here are four keys to unlocking richer, more meaningful relationships with your customers:

key 1 Learn your customers’ names. Everybody appreciates being recognized when they walk into a place of business, particularly if they visit that company frequently. As the theme song to Cheers puts it, “Sometimes, you want to go where everybody knows your name.” Make a concerted effort to learn the names of the people you come into contact with regularly, and greet them by name whenever possible.
key 2 But start with last names first. Of course, before you start addressing customers on a first-name basis, make sure they’re comfortable with this practice. Some customers might find it disrespectful or “too” personal to have you greet them by their first name. Follow the customer’s lead, if possible, or try starting with “Mr. Johnson,” before calling your customer “Bob,” particularly if they are not your peer.
key 3 Show genuine appreciation. Let your customers know you’re glad to see them every time they walk through the door. Make an effort to greet people with a warm smile and an enthusiastic hello. Then back it up with outstanding service and a “can do” attitude. Thank your customers when they buy from you, and keep in touch to let them know they’re on your mind… and appreciated for everything they do.
key 4 Avoid judgments and negativity. We’ve all heard the adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” The same is true of people. Strive to approach each new or prospective customer with an open mind and positive attitude. Don’t rush to judgment based on a first impression. Many times, those initial reactions and snap judgments don’t hold up to the test of time.