How To Reach Buyers After Expo: 3 Critical Tips

Now that Expo East is over, you may be asking “what’s next?” Here’s my one piece of advice - keep the momentum going!

You’ve connected with hundreds of people - social media influencers, industry experts, service providers, distributors, suppliers, buyers and fellow entrepreneurs. It’s important to build upon the connections you’ve made at the event.

One of the most critical connections you can make at Expo East is with a buyer, and nurturing this relationship is key.

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Alli Ball is a former buyer for Bi-Rite and now consults with food producers and manufacturers, guiding them with business planning, product development and wholesale launch. According to Alli, “Your follow-up to the show can make or break that new relationship that you formed on the sales floor.”

She has three tips that Expo East exhibitors need to remember following the show.

1) Don’t forget to follow up. While this seems obvious, as a buyer, she’s seen this step skipped time and again. “When I was a buyer, I had many instances where I met a producer on the trade show floor only to get back to San Francisco and realize that I didn’t have their contact information and couldn’t quite remember their brand,” Alli said. Takeaway: Buyers are busy - it’s unlikely that they will follow up with you, so you must make the first move after the show.

2) Send them a concise, personalized email that includes all of the information that they need to know to make a decision on your brand. Do not mass email - make each one personalized. According to Alli, “as a buyer, I’m much more likely to delete a generic group email than one that is addressed to me and speaks specifically on how your product can help my store.” Don’t forget to include your sell sheet and your pricing on this follow up email.

3) Pick up the phone and call one week after the show (after you’ve sent that follow up email). Then email again. And call again… and again and again. “It takes, on average, seven points of contact with a buyer before they respond and take action on your brand. I always say - as a producer you need to apply constant, gentle pressure on that buyer!”  

It takes, on average, seven points of contact with a buyer before they respond and take action on your brand.
— Alli Ball

Need help taking the next step? Alli has a wealth of information on how to reach buyers and make your product stand out. If you have questions on how to pitch to those buyers so they say “yes!”, what to include on your sell sheet, or how to continue that retail relationship, reach out to Alli here

 

The Simple Art of Delighting Your Customers

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Let’s face it – it’s a noisy world out there. Your customers are bombarded with choices left and right. In the supermarket alone there are an estimated 39,500 items on the shelf. Customers are marketed to day in and day out. As a brand, you have competitors right and left. Bottom line, in the marketplace, there are ALWAYS alternatives to your product.

Gaining the attention of consumers is the ultimate challenge for marketers.

But simple attention isn't enough. Keeping that attention long enough to build a personal connection is key. I’m convinced that if you surprise and delight your customers with positive brand experiences that are unique, memorable and valued in the mind of your customer, they'll reward your business with loyalty.

How can you do this? 

Give a something extra. 

It doesn’t take a lot of extra effort to connect with your community. One of these ways is by small moments that surprise and delight.

There are lots of ways to do this – here are some some simple ideas:

  • Provide a samples
  • Offering to hand-carry their purchase to the car
  • Educate customers about your product and story
  • Learn the name of regular customers
  • Make a home delivery of the purchase
  • Respond to your customers promptly on social media
  • Including a small, free surprise item in the shipment

Think of your organization and ask yourself “what would make make my community’s brand experience unique and memorable? What do I want this person to feel after they interact with me? What are my competitors not doing that I can do?"

Start to identify ways you can use small surprises to make a deeper conection. Try to make it personal and unique. 

We are emotional creatures. Experiences that connect on an emotional level create bonds. Small, personal touches that surprise AND delight your customers will result in loyal customers and raving fans. 

What do you think?
What personalized examples have you experienced with a company or organization? What little touches do you remember? What is YOUR brand doing to surprise and delight your customers?