There are lots of crazy ways sales people and companies use to try to get noticed. Why do some work, while most don’t? Better question – why can one company’s sales rep use roll up banner stands and get dozens of quality sales leads from it while another sales rep from a different company also uses them, but gets very few sales leads – at the same convention or trade show – right next to each other?
Of course, the obvious pat answerer will explain that surely Salesman A, using his retractable stands, was simply a better sales man than Salesman B. That, of course, is a quick way to dismiss the topic and move on to clothes shopping because the topic was potentially so dull that the answerer was moved to the wrong kind of tears.
Hang in here with me though…I promise that this will be a very entertaining article – and it will also contain some amazingly brilliant golden nuggets of wisdom. The initial disinterested response in the beginning of this paragraph begs the question as to WHAT made Salesman A the better salesman? Let’s assume, for this discussion, that both Salesman A and Salesman B had similar marketing materials, booth backdrops, pull up signs, brochures, a multi-media presentation kiosk, and a lovely assistant. And they both sell business consulting services.
Are Tradeshows a Black Hole for Marketing Dollars? Do I Really Need the Fancy Booth, Multimedia Kiosk, Banner Roll Up Signs, and All That Expensive Stuff? Here’s How – and How NOT – to Use Great Sales Tools Like That Could Enable You to Walk Away from Your Next Trade show With Dozens – or even Hundreds – of Leads!
Really, I am getting to those 3 reasons why you need a retractable banner stand that I promised you in the headline…I promise! Now, what were those 3 reasons I need? Ah yes, I am back on track! Let’s get rolling (pun intended)!
Reason #1 – Obviously, banner and stands combos work great because they’re portable. Most come with a carry bag, and rarely do they weigh more than a dozen pounds. Whether you’re doing a seminar, promoting a product in a local store, or like the 2 salesmen above, selling services, it is an advantage to travel light. You need brochures, business cards, and maybe a small table, but if no one is “hooked” with a sign or banner that draws their attention your way, nothing else you brought is going to matter.
Reason #2 – While your roll up banner stands are important, it’s also important to have something that will draw attention to it. Market research by guys who have no life has discovered that a beautiful woman plays well on any advertising piece, so you could start with that, unless, of course, like Salesmen A and B, your business has little connection to sexy, scantily clad ladies – not that that stops some advertisers. But these guys want to promote a professional image, one that attracts the right type of customer, one who’s wallet would drag their Perry Ellis designer suit pants down to their Gucci’s if they weren’t wearing a rhinoceros hide belt. So, while you may have an attractive woman on your pop-up display, she’ll likely be dressed in business attire and look quite smugly self-confident. That’s not a bad start. You can’t do that nearly so powerfully with a business card and a brochure. Unless, of course, you are a beautiful professional saleswoman handing out those cards and brochures. Sorry guys…beautiful and professional will win every time. Especially if they back it up with a banner roll up sign with yet another lovely businesswoman on it!
Reason #3 – Big words mean things. I’m not speaking of long words like “antidisestablishmentarianism,” rather, the actual height and width of the words. Big, important-looking words like “FREE” or “NAKED!” jump out and grab convention goers, tradeshow attendees, or shopper’s eyes. People do read things, albeit subconsciously at times, especially if they’re big, like a billboard when you’re driving about the town or down a freeway. However, they really read it if it’s got a good “hook.” Words like “NO MONEY DOWN” or “PAY NOTHING FOR FIVE YEARS AT WHICH POINT WE WILL OWN YOUR HOUSE, CARS, WIFE, AND CHILDREN” have worked to get people to try goods and services since the Serpent placed a roll up trade show display by the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden offering “Eternal Knowledge – FREE Apple w/Consulting Today.”
How to Know What Kind of Apple May – or May Not – Impress Potential Clients: An Apple-to-Apple Comparison of Salesman A’s Successful Use of His Trade Sign Advertising – in Contrast to Salesman B’s Major FAIL with His Pull-up Stands. And Why You Think His Lovely Assistant Looks Like Your Ex.
So, now let’s go back to the beginning and find out why salesman A kicked Salesman B’s proverbial backside at the tradeshow this weekend. Both had equivalent marketing pieces, at least as far as quality goes. Neither went to Cheap Junk Imported Marketing Materials R Us to purchase their collateral materials and advertising stands. And both had a lovely assistant. Salesman B’s assistant, though, while attracting the looks of many admiring men folk, had very few conversations with any of them, because they were looking at the banner roll up stands in the neighboring booth offering a FREE Seminar with a FREE Hour of One-on-One Consulting Guaranteed to Increase Your Business 100% or Your Money Back! And it had a picture of an attractively successful very rich businesswoman on it, ostensible making the offer.
Salesman B also had an offer with a hook on his retractable signs as well, offering FREE Apples. Unfortunately, those potential clients who did inquire at that booth, mistakenly believed they were going to get a FREE Apple Computer, but instead of getting a FREE Apple Computer, they found instead that they were getting…an actual apple. Suddenly, when their dream of a FREE Apple Computer burst into flames, they suddenly hated Salesman B, his company, his haircut, and his lovely assistant who now looked like their ex-wife. Sales Rule #7 states, if memory serves, “Never offer FREE items that could be mistaken for another item with the same or similar name, especially if you’re offering the cheaper version of whatever the two items are.” Of course, if you’re advertising at your booth that you’re giving away FREE Apple Computers…where was your booth?!)
And there you have it. Nothing would’ve happened for either booth without that attention grabbing big-lettered pull up displays offering FREE stuff. And the lack of any substantial FREE stuff (a red, shiny apple just doesn’t cut it any more, not even for your kid’s teacher who wants a FREE Apple Computer) is why Salesman B’s advertising displays attracted, well, not as many people as his assistant!
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Have you tried using roll-up banner stands to advertise your products or services? Tell us how it worked out for you in the comment form below.