What I learned form a Recent Trade Show

OK, to be fair, I guess I already knew this lesson, but I found it interesting how it really struck a chord with me: people are skeptical. It certainly doesn’t help when you go to a trade show and some of the vendors are sitting in their booth, playing on their phones or their laptops, or reading a book instead of standing up engaging with the attendees. Really? You paid good money to exhibit at the show – the least you could do is be interested in those that have come to see you. But the attendees are skeptical of those exhibitors that do engage with them as well. Here was my experience:

I had some custom fortune cookies made, with 10 different “fortunes.” Each one was some type of free gift. These included getting a copy of one of my books (which I had sitting out on the table next to the fortune cookies), a free consultation, a digital download of over 1 million royalty-free images and tools, the opportunity to appear on my podcast, or a program worth $97. All the gifts were pretty decent giveaways for a trade show, certainly much better than a pen or a piece of candy – they all had some significant value. I set the jar on the counter, with a sign telling people to take a cookie as there were prizes inside each one. People would walk up to my booth, read the sign, look at the fortune cookies, and walk on. Finally, I decided to verbally offer them a cookie and explain what they might win. That’s when I noticed that almost half of the people would still decline to take a cookie. Then I got more specific: “You can win one of these books when you take a fortune cookie. You don’t have to eat it, just open it up and see what prize you won!” To my amazement, there were still people who turned down the offer, even when I told them some of the prizes were worth $100 and I held out the cookie jar for them to take one. I wasn’t asking for anything – just offering a free gift and half of the people wouldn’t even grab a cookie.

The reason why this lesson is so important is that one of the first things I talk about in my book, The Influencer Effect, is that you need to give something away on your website. Many times I see an opt-in form on a website that simply says, “join our mailing list,” with no offer of any kind. What is common practice, is to offer a “free report” or a “free video.” Here’s the thing: if people wouldn’t even take a physical fortune cookie, knowing they were going to win a real, valuable prize including a physical, signed copy of a book, why would they ever give up their email address to just get a 20 page ebook?

If people wouldn't even take a physical fortune cookie, knowing they were going to win a real, valuable prize including a physical, signed copy of a book, why would they ever give up their email address to just get a 20 page ebook? Click To Tweet

Lead magnets in exchange for email addresses are important, even critical, to your online marketing efforts. But, and this is a big but, they must be so compelling that the visitor to your website will stop and gladly give you their email address. In fact, the offer needs to be so compelling that they will want to share it with their friends. Don’t give away the digital equivalent of a ball point pen on your website – give away something so valuable that it creates a buzz and generates word-of-mouth marketing for you. anything less, and you will likely find that even with tons of visitors to your website, no one is going to stop and engage with you.

Lead magnets in exchange for email addresses are important, even critical, to your online marketing efforts. But, and this is a big but, they must be so compelling that the visitor to your website will stop and gladly give you their… Click To Tweet

There is an old sales tactic of getting a prospect to say yes to many little things before you get to the close. Then, when it comes time to ask for the sale, they are already used to saying yes and agreeing with you, that making the sale just becomes another easy yes. Getting people to opt-in to your email list is the first yes in the sales cycle. You want to make the first yes be a no-brainer. Here is an example (and yes, this is real!).

Click here to register to this week’s group coaching call on Wednesday at 1:00pm MST. We will be discussing the contents of this blog and how it applies to your business. You will be able to ask live questions. I’m looking forward to seeing you on the web conference.

 

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