When you commit a sin, basically you are consigning yourself to Hell. In the export business, committing sins means dooming all your expansion efforts and making you lose a lot of money in the bargain. It’s close enough to hell for a business owner.
Sin #1. You chose the wrong event because you didn’t do your research.
One of the main reasons you go to trade fairs is that these are the events your potential customers and clients go to. Or rather, that what you hope. But you should do your research and so that know this for a fact instead.
Sin #2. You don’t have a plan.
If you’re running a business or a department, shouldn’t you be at least old enough to realize that you need a plan for every major undertaking? Participating in trade shows is a major event, and you need a plan. What are your goals? What do you plan to do? What kind of results are you expecting, and how do measure the benefits you gained? You need to have a plan for all these things.
Sin #3. You didn’t update or check the details of your plan.
Having a plan is good, but often things change. Once your preparation for the trade fair is underway you may find that you’ll need to make amendments, additions, and substitutions to your plan to accommodate changing circumstances. And everyone involved in the trade fair in your company must be made aware of these changes so that everyone’s on the same page.
Sin #4. You talked to the wrong people during the trade show.
It’s a fact that you can’t talk to everyone at a trade fair. But it also true that you can’t give the same level of attention to the wrong people. This seems to always happen: one guy will occupy all your time when the encounter won’t lead to any business for your company. And sometimes a contact who can get more business for your company may be unattended.
You need to identify the people you need to get in contact with. Better yet, you should devise some tactics that can get them to come to you. One tactic is to send an email notice to alert your target customers to attend your booth using world buyer and importer directory and your internal mailing list.
Sin #5. You don’t collect crucial data at your booth.
You don’t have to be aggressive in this. But you should get names and contact info that can lead to further business for your company.
Sin #6. You hand out useless products.
Not only should you make sure that your promo items are high-quality and memorable, but they should fit local needs and customs.
Sin #7. You didn’t follow up.
What’s the point of collecting all those contact info and not using them to follow up? You have to follow up—that was the point of the trade show in the first place!
If you are using trade fairs for your export marketing, heed these words. Go forth and sin no more!