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Clive Allcott – Make The Most of Merchandise World!

With Merchandise World taking place this month, Clive Allcott advises you to plan to get the most from the event –

As a seasoned attendee and exhibitor, it’s only fair to pass on my top tips for getting the most out of your visit. You have one day, so use it wisely.

1. Spend your time researching before the show and categorise into sectors and targets. Work out what suppliers are there and make your appointments – don’t expect to be able to ‘grab’ them on the day. Show your boss what you have timetabled and that you’ve really thought about your reasons for attending and get their feedback.

2. Network, network, network. There’s never a better place to get your face known and build ‘brand you’ than being surrounded by your peers. Remember, people buy people – your enthusiasm will win them.

3. Prepare for each meeting you have scheduled. Is it just a ‘getting to know you’ meeting, or are you looking for alternative suppliers, more technical advice, education on processes and new techniques? Bring live quotations along.

4. Make sure you’re positioning your business as best it can be. What accreditations do you have that should be displayed? What Eco products do you sell, How do you make people realise you are a safe pair of hands? Our company thinks hard about what we want our stand to convey. What’s going to make visitors stop and interact? Clothing is always our focus and I make sure that I am up to speed on all new developments before the show.

5. Break down who you’re aiming at by category. Each area needs its own specialised approach and you to be knowledgeable and eloquent about that market. Clothing represents up to 30% of the promotional market, so think what you can offer each sector in this field.

6. Have your supplier’s spend figures by category to hand. Nothing impresses a supplier more than the business that is available for them.

7. Make sure you’re selling your business as best it can be. What accreditations do you have that should be displayed? How do you make people realise you are a safe pair of hands with a solid track record?

8. Followup with suppliers that you’re interested in getting to know better, or invite them to your offices to meet colleagues who will also be interested in the product range/s.

Mostly, make sure you enjoy the day. It will fly by and you need to use every second to your advantage.

Happy selling Clive, The Clothing Guru

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