Imagine that you own a restaurant. Fifty customers walk in one day; they look at the wall decorations, open a menu, glance at who’s eating, snap a picture or two of other people’s food…but then they leave. They do not order, eat or BUY anything.
If this was your restaurant, what would you do? Would you start to corral the people as they walked through the door? Maybe have your waitstaff ask every customer who enters, “What would you like to order?” Maybe you would serve them something small to make them feel obliged to stay—a “bread-in-the-mouth” analogy to the proverbial “foot-in-the-door.”
Thankfully, restaurants don’t do this. And luckily, customers don’t tend to window shop in eating establishments (because if I’m enjoying a T-bone and somebody is ogling it, there’s going to be some beef…). So, why do many businesses treat their customers in this manner? They still cling to the old mantras of “ABC—Always Be Closing” and “get them in and we’ll find a way to sell them,” but those mantras are fading fast. The internet effectively destroyed that business model, as customers were able to avoid pushy salespeople and simply buy online. Now, brick-and-mortar establishments need to adapt their sales strategies (and maybe find a few new mantras) to encourage purchases.
Today’s Customers are Seeking Experiences on the Sales Floor.
You can’t touch a product online. You can’t see how an article of clothing is going to fit when viewing it in a browser. Knowledgeable salespeople can answer a customer’s questions on the spot, saving them the trouble of having to search through countless online help forums. These are all advantages of being a tangible, brick-and-mortar business, but they can only be leveraged with experienced help and the right mindset.
The Right Mindset: Successful Businesses are Creating Sales Events.
These aren’t weekly “sales” that are overhyped and that underdeliver. These are actual events that aren’t focused specifically on selling anything. They’re big, flashy and provide customers a memorable, educational and entertaining experience that elevates the hosting company over their competition in the minds of attendees.
How Can You Create a Successful Sales Event?
First, figure out who your customer base is and determine how best to reach them. Next, determine the reason(s) why this customer base would attend your event (what makes your event worthwhile?). Then—most importantly—determine how you’re going to measure the sales that your event eventually leads to.
Once those three questions are answered, there are still other things to consider. How can you extend the excitement of your event in the attendee’s mind to guarantee they come back and buy from you? How can you determine the amount to spend on the event to maximize your ROI? Finding these answers is complex. That’s why working with a marketing agency to promote and manage your event promotions is extremely beneficial. But these are marketing challenges that many traditional advertising agencies have trouble conceptualizing. They’re still on the old method of “getting people through the door.” Not us; Trigon Creative is born from an events and exhibition house—experiential marketing is in our DNA.
If you want to learn more about event marketing and how it can help your business, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.
Author: VP, Brand & Strategy Chris Gregoire