OPINION:An expert’s call to having a successful Expo

With the ongoing Rwanda International Trade Fair at Gikongo, there are over 419 exhibitors from different sectors and countries all trying to sell their products.

With the ongoing Rwanda International Trade Fair at Gikongo, there are over 419 exhibitors from different sectors and countries all trying to sell their products.

Some have been lucky to go through the Customer Care training organized by the Private Sector Federation (PSF) to help them boost their customer care attitudes. Unfortunately, there are also many staff there without any basic training on what is expected of them.

When I went there on Thursday I passed in front of this stand where the lady who was just reading. She didn’t care about the number of people passing in front of her stand. She was not attracting people to enter her stand. And no one was entering her stand either.

I’m sure customers had the impression that they might be disturbing her, so they just decided to “leave” her do her reading.

If you are a business owner who has just put “any” person at your stand there, please take time to share this article with them. If your people at this expo offer good customer care, it will cost you about 80 percent less to secure a new customer than to make sales calls or attract new customers to your usual business.

Here are 7 criteria to have a successful expo and boost your sales.

1. Make your stand accessible and attractive

Please avoid plenty things at the entrance of your stand. Le your stand be appealing. Put effort in the decoration. Make sure your product stands out as a one-of-a-kind item. Don’t make customers jump over the products before entering.

2. Create a very good first contact

This means that you are standing at the entrance to attract people into entering your stand. Greet automatically all the visitors who walk by.

Products, no matter how great they are, don’t sell themselves. You must generate the excitement that gets people to buy. Know the styles and tactics to attract a crowd into your stand.

3.Welcome all visitors

“Good afternoon Sir”, “Hello Madam”, “Karibu client” must be said to all visitors. Let your staff show some eagerness when the customer walks in.

Of course, the greetings will be with a big smile. There is no way people will not be sensible to your smile. Your smile will show that you are happy to see the customer.

4. Know all the products you are selling

If you are a business owner at this expo, I will kindly request you to spend some time with your staff to explain the products to them. Let them know where they come from, how they work, what are the advantages.

Make sure your product stands out as a one-of-a-kind item. People won’t purchase a product if it’s readily available in other locations. Let your staff know the qualities of your products.

5. Learn to convince your customers

A sales person should be able to convince customers that his/her products are the best for them. Convincing means creating impulse sales based on a demonstration or a person trying out a product.

People are more convinced. Make visitors participate in a demonstration or interact with you during your presentation. That involvement will dramatically increase sales

6. Avoid non professional attitudes

Have your stand look active at all times, but make sure people don’t pass your stand because no one is available to talk to them.

A successful stand needs a dynamic and cheerful staff.
Avoid reading, chewing gum, discussing your private matters on the mobile phone in front of the customer; chatting with your friends while the customer is there.

Well, note that you have just few minutes with each customer. Let them leave your stand with a positive image of you and your business.

7. Thank every customer whether he buys or not

Expos are meant to create awareness of your company. Aim for the “after” expo as well. Give your contacts, flyers or brochures so that customers can visit your business even at the end of the expo.

This Trade show is a forum to display and demonstrate your products to potential buyers. Out of the 10,000 visitors expected everyday, make sure that at least 10 percent enter into your stand.

Make the calculation yourself. Everything lies in your hands as your own success depends largely on how well you will show customer care to all the visitors.

The writer is a customer service expert working in Rwanda.

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