As you get ready to exhibit at ASD this March 11-14th, it’s a great time to start thinking about how to build and strengthen your relationships with buyers at the show. Since ASD welcomes diverse buyers from around the globe, there’s no better time than now to plan ahead for how you plan to capture their attention on ASD’s trade show floor. Whether you’re a first-time exhibitor or a seasoned veteran, each show is an opportunity for your company to make an impact on tens of thousands of potential buyers… as well as to build stronger relationships with existing clients.
Keeping this in mind, it’s best to approach each show with a goal and a game plan on how to maximize your presence at ASD. To help, review three of the ways that you can make a lasting impression on new and existing buyers this upcoming ASD Market Week.
Back to the Basics
As you well know, retail is a people business and each buyer that walks by your booth represents an opportunity to build your business. Because of this, you should aim to make the most out of each opportunity you have to connect with potential buyers – beginning with making eye contact as retailers pass your booth followed with a smile. While this may seem simple, these classic customer service gestures go along way. Additionally, stand up vs. sit down during the day at ASD to easily greet and engage buyers. Buyers will feel more comfortable approaching you with questions about your products if you are already standing and ready to interact vs. being engaged in your phone or sitting down with busy tasks on your computer. It’s also vital to have a friendly and supportive approach to communication with your potential buyers – helping to build the trust they want in whom they choose to do business with. Increasing buyer responsiveness should always be top of mind and with these core customer service tips, you’ll be on your way to capturing their attention.
Additional tip? Be ready to communicate with your customers. Whether they have questions ready to ask or you have insightful inventory details ready to share, this open line of communication will go a long way in supporting them as customers.
Learn About Them
Communication should always be a goal – but it’s not just about sharing details of your brand. It’s also about learning details about their business. Go the extra mile to make sure that you have a strong understanding of each buyer’s retail objectives and company history in an effort to best support them in their future inventory planning. Among the ways you can do this is to begin conversations with buyers by asking questions about their unique about their store that may include:
- What are your core demographics?
- Which products have historically been bestsellers?
- Do you sell online? Offline? Or both?
- How long has your retail business been established?
- What inventory gaps are they looking to fill?
By inviting each potential customer to tell you more about themselves, you will be able to approach the sale with a better understanding of what they are looking for in regards to product… and as a result, be able to more effectively market your own inventory.
Go Above and Beyond
Your company’s reputation is one of the most important assets that you have to market your inventory. To build your reputation within the retail industry, it’s important not only to meet buyer expectations, but to regularly exceed them. Go above and beyond what’s expected by staying alert and ready to connect with buyers on the show floor… then blow them away by offering excellent customer service. As anyone in this business knows, retail is a competitive industry… so you want to be among those companies that are recognized for consistently providing an excellent customer experience. There is a good chance that other vendors aren’t exceeding buyer expectations and – even if they are – you want to go above and beyond so that you can join their ranks and effectively compete.
Let 2018 be the year that you create and strengthen your relationships with buyers to take your business to the next level at ASD. Take advantage of the complimentary networking events, education, and matchmaking services that ASD provides to vendors to create more effective (and profitable) relationships that stand the test of time. And along the way? Enjoy stronger retail relationships as a result of your outstanding customer service.
Take advantage of ASD Market Week’s 90+ free retail strategy sessions this March 11-14, 2018 in Las Vegas.
By Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, RetailMinded.com