How to stand out and make sales in a crowded marketplace

Having been the headline event on the Irish farming calendar since the early 1930’s, the National Ploughing Championships once again opens it’s gates this morning for the 85th consecutive year. As Europe’s largest outdoor exhibition and agricultural trade show, attendance numbers and revenues are steadily increasing, with a record 281,000 visitors spending just under €36.5 million at last year’s three-day event.

This huge captive audience is becoming ever more attractive to businesses looking to showcase their products and services but with over 1500 exhibitors at the event, competition will be fierce to engage customers and convert them into sales. With this in mind, we have listed our top 8 tips for anyone looking to stand out and make sales in a crowded marketplace:

  1. Build anticipation – Before the event takes place, it is important to let people know that you will be there and what you will be doing on the day to create a hype around your exhibit. This can be easily done by communicating with your existing customers and those in your target market through social media channels.


  1. Grab the customers’ attention – With such a large range of exhibits, making people want to come and check out your offering will be no small feat. It is vital that your exhibit has something different from the rest. This could be anything from using creative lighting, audio, electronic presentations, original and well-designed posters and signage through to advertising a free-draw. Customers will glance at your exhibit for a matter of seconds before deciding whether to move on, so it is essential that your message is clear and simple and compels them to come over and find out more.


  1. Engage with your potential customers – Staffing is critical here. You need the right brand ambassadors that will be able to effectively engage with your target audience. If you are a mobile phone company looking to launch a new tariff aimed at 18-25 year olds, it would make sense to have staff of a similar age and with similar interests to your potential customers. This will make forging a connection easier and allow the product to be pitched using the relevant language and levels of interaction.


  1. Demonstrate how your product / service will benefit them – An interesting and straightforward product demonstration will stay in a customer’s mind if it solves a problem that they can relate to. If you are an energy company showcasing your latest smart-meter, it would benefit the customer to see this in use, whereby they could plug in different appliances and see in real-time the energy consumption and costs related to each.


  1. Make it easy to understand – Keep your pitch as simple as possible while still delivering all of the pertinent information. Think those IKEA instruction booklets with no words, just pictures of each step of the assembly process.


  1. Listen to your customers – Speak to people who visit your stand. Find out what it is they are looking for and tailor your pitch accordingly. Focus on a specific part of your offering that solves the customer’s problem. If you are selling vehicles and your prospect is looking for a rugged machine that can be used both around their farm and for general transport, it would be nonsensical to introduce them to your latest range of compact city run-arounds.


  1. Be an expert in your field – Customers want to feel confident in you and your products before committing to spend with you. By offering free advice and advertising an open Q&A session, where customers can come and receive impartial expert advice, this will go a long way in building trust and assisting in the customer’s decision making process.


  1. Make the purchase easy – Offer as many suitable payment options as possible and ensure the sales process is streamlined to reduce the likelihood of a sale falling through at the last hurdle. Don’t bog people down with unnecessary paperwork or non-essential information at this stage (or at any stage for that matter).
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