Last Updated on Mar 6, 2020 by James W


In the sales industry, everyone is looking for new ways to market and promote their business. It is a very competitive market and any small edge can help your business grow and thrive.

One method of marketing your direct sales business that is often overlooked is networking through vendor or trade show events.

Often small business owners feel as though they do not get the results they want at these types of events so they skip them altogether!

When you go to these events, it goes without saying that you need to have a good supply of business cards and literature on hand. Don’t be a cheapskate with your catalogs or fliers.

Improve Results At Vendor Events

Taking the time to learn how to qualify leads will pay off with time. Vendor events are one way to constantly add new leads to your business that are totally unrelated to your existing client base.

There are a few simple things that you can do that will greatly improve your results or return on investment at vendor events.

5 Simle Tips To Get More Leads

  1. Pull Your Table Forward: In the classic trade show pipe and drape event most vendors put their table in the back of the booth. Be different. Pull your table up front and position it about 3 feet back from the walkway.
  2. Stand Don’t Sit: Sitting in your booth waiting for people to talk to you is the worst possible way to market yourself at a trade show. Stand up, be attentive and look like a business professional.
  3. Remove The Barriers: Standing in the front of the table will remove 2 barriers. When you are behind the table there is a barrier between you and the guest so always stand in front of the table. Since you have already pulled your table forward, by standing in front of the table you are almost on the line separating the booth from the aisle. Keeping on foot on that imaginary line will make you and your table more inviting!
  4. Smile And Look Them In The Eye: Standing in your booth, in front of your table… now you can look down the aisle and look people in the eye! This will engage them.
  5. Ask An Open Ended Question: When they look back at you, ask an open ended non-committal question. “Have you ever heard of MyFantasticCompany?” or something equally non-threatening.

When you follow this proceedure you will be able to qualify your leads and determine who is worth talking with and who is not.

If they look away when you look them in the eye or when you ask your question then they are not good leads so do not waste your time.

Good Vendor Leads VS Bad

When you work your booth in this manner you will get less leads but they will be better leads. Would you rather have 10 leads that do business with you or 1000 leads that never answer their phone!

Don’t forget to follow up within 48 hours.

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Making contact after the event quickly is as much a part of the process as going to the event. If you do not plan to follow up immediately then you are wasting your time and money in attending!

You don’t need to sell or be pushy; a follow up letter, e-mail, or phone call serves as a nice personal reminder to those you met.

Growing your business through vendor events is a proven winner.

Though many small business owners overlook this marketing method, it is an excellent way to become more well-known in your community and meet others with an entrepreneurial spirit in addition to gathering leads.



Deb Bixler is sales trainer and educator who specializes in home party plan sales training. She conducts and annual workshop for the Chamber Of Commerce members participating in the local vendor events.


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