Put Exhibiting Tools to Work

6 Must-Have Tools for Traveling Sales Reps

How Banner Stands and Other Trade Show
Exhibiting Tools Can Work Double Duty

exhibiting toolsThese six must-have exhibiting tools will help you increase your close rate.

How many of your sales are made in person? While digital marketing and branding might get the majority of the marketing industry's glitz and glamour, most deals are done in person, often by traveling sales representatives.

Whether you’re dealing with million-dollar contracts or selling a physical product at a trade show or in a retail environment, having the right tools for the job gives your travelling sales team a huge advantage – and, in many cases, higher sales figures.

From an iPad with the essential sales and customer management tools installed to a simple stack of great business cards, Peter Symonds of Display Wizard offers the following six must-have tools that traveling professionals should always have in their briefcases.

Business cards

It might seem too obvious to mention, but it's surprising how many sales reps either have too few business cards for the events they are attending or have cards that simply aren't, well, good.

Your business card needs to mention three things:

  1. A phone number for your company
  2. A mobile number at which you can be reached any time
  3. Plenty of information about who you are and what you do.

Forget oddly-shaped business cards or cards with unusual dimensions – since they don’t fit inside most people’s wallets. These type of cards are more likely to end up tossed inside a desk drawer or in the "circular file"  than kept inside a wallet where they’re easy to find.

Keep it simple with plenty of white space – you’ll need it for writing down pricing, special offers and other information. A stack of business cards inside your briefcase is an invaluable networking tool that goes neglected by far too many sales reps.

Banner stands

No matter how good your product or service is, you’ll have trouble making sales if no one stops to interact with you. Banner stands let you broadcast your marketing message in a retail environment and get people interested before you talk to them.  Remember, banner stands aren't just an exhibiting tool. They have multi-purpose in almost any sales environment.

Have you ever been approached by a sales person in a shopping mall? Most of the time, people respond by politely declining their pitch. The reason isn’t necessarily that they are busy or uninterested; often it’s that they are unfamiliar with that the representative is selling.

With the right banner stands, you can inform your audience – particularly in a retail environment – of what you’re offering and prime them for the sale before you say a single word.

The better your banner stands are at informing people of your offer’s value, the less selling you’ll need to do. With great banner stands, there’s no need to interrupt – the people most interested in your product or service will notice and come to you.

Great brochures

In B2B, the difference between a lost opportunity and a fantastic deal can all come down to your brochures. Since the long sales process of B2B means you probably won’t be closing sales on the spot, having great brochures and company literature available lets you ensure your offer stays in your prospect’s mind long after your interaction ends.

The best brochures tend to be informational, benefits-focused and designed to built rapport with the prospect, not necessarily close a sale. Focus on informing them and let them come to you – don’t resort to using pushy, action-focused marketing copy.

Brochures are like business cards; you should always have them in your briefcase, no matter where you are. Sometimes the best opportunities come at the least likely moments, and having a brochure available could help you secure a new customer.

Literature stands

Whether you’re exhibiting at a trade show or making a presentation in a prospect’s office, having great literature stands will make it as easy as possible for prospects to pick up your brochures, prospectuses and other company literature.

Even the best company literature will be ineffective on an improvised stand. This is where exhibiting tools can play double duty. You've heard the saying "the medium is the message."  In marketing, how you give away your corporate literature is often just as important as the content it contains.

Literature stands aren’t as bulky or cumbersome as you may think, with many able to fold down and fit inside the boot of your car with ease. Portable brochure stands are an excellent choice for in-person pitches, since they’re so easy to transport.

While your sales presentation will often create interest in your product or service, it'ss your corporate literature that tends to inspire people to make a decision. Put it in their hands in style with the right literature stand for your business.

Well-stocked iPad

With the right applications, your iPad can be a powerful tool for closing sales and collecting customer information on the fly. Hundreds of sales apps are available in the App Store, many of which can help you track and manage your sales leads.

If your company uses Salesforce to manage customer interactions, you can log your pitches and phone calls remotely with Salesforce1 for iOS. Other CRMs, such as Zoho and Highrise are also available for iOS, making recording interactions a breeze.

Aside from CRM software, the iPad has a wide range of mobile payment processing apps available, making taking credit card payments a breeze. If your company has a mobile app, you can take credit card payments on the spot using Square Reader.

Finally, your iPad can be an amazing tool for creating and showcasing product and service presentations. Keynote for iOS – a version of the OS X app designed for the iPad and iPhone – lets you create and give stylish sales presentations on the spot.

Inventory Lists

How many products does your company offer? Keeping track of the inventory and pricing for tens of items is difficult – for hundreds or thousands of items, it’s almost completely impossible.

Give yourself and your prospects a break by keeping inventory lists with you while you travel to give sales presentations. Having a list lets you give quotes on the spot, helping move the sales process forward without having to share prices via email.

You can also hand out inventory lists to interested prospects at the end of a pitch to give them the information they need to move forward with a deal. At the least, keep a small stack of inventory lists in your briefcase with you whenever you travel.

So, the next time you travel for business,
be sure to take your sales and exhibiting tools with you.

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