5 Tips for Punching Up Sales Calls with Meeting and Incentive Planners
December 3, 2018
Most suppliers travel at least once a month to meet buyers on sales calls and at trade shows, and it can be easy to become complacent. During this age of technological advancement, changing buyer demographics, “information overload,” and shortening meeting spans, it is integral to keep abreast of industry trends and adapt the way you present your property or destination to meeting and incentive planners. Here are five tips to help make your next sales appointment meaningful for you and the buyer:
1. Enough about me, tell me about you:
Too often, we begin with introductions and the presentation is delivered on auto pilot. To keep your pitch from getting stale, start with a Q&A before you start providing information, as opposed to after. Ask background questions and try to find out what buyers look for when sourcing destinations. The more information you have beforehand, the easier it will be to tailor relevant information for those meeting and incentive planners.
2. Defriend the PowerPoint:
For the better part of two decades, the PowerPoint has been the mainstay in meetings and presentations, often packed with information, swooping text, and unique fonts. But PowerPoints are increasingly seen as passé, and can disengage the audience from the very information you are trying to present. For now, they still hold a place for presenting information, but suppliers should not rely too heavily on a slideshow deck. Presentations should have as few slides as possible, up to a maximum of ten. Keep each slide light on text, focusing on one theme with a sparing use of images. You should deliver most of the information orally, and since you gathered intel through a Q&A before your presentation, you can feel free to skip any slides that are not relevant and hone in on key issues.
3. Information overload:
Speaking of reining in overly dense presentations, suppliers should avoid information overload. A 30-slide presentation on your property or destination will disengage the buyer and work against information retention. Since buyers can get the information they need with a quick Google search, suppliers should focus on information that is timely, relevant, and not redundant. The key to a successful in-person meeting is to keep conversations centered around information that can’t easily be found online. Remember that you can give the buyer a USB drive with more detailed information.
4. Videos & virtual reality:
Well-produced, brief, and to-the-point videos are a great way to present information and engage your audience. To avoid information overload, keep videos no more than three minutes in length and only offer one video per meeting. Virtual reality (VR) is also becoming more common on trade-show floors and can offer buyers a unique and special experience. Keep in mind that poorly produced VR experiences will be more of a let-down than an experience, and also know that some people are sensitive to VR and can experience dizziness and headaches.
5. Rethink swag:
Tchotchkes are another relic from bygone days. Buyers are inundated with items that are either overdone and uninspiring (keychains, pens, magnets, etc.) or information-dense (pamphlets and books). With so much of the same old, same old, the risk is that your collateral item will be forgettable or immediately discarded.
Instead, focus on gifts that engage all the senses. Buyers particularly love gifts that they can taste and smell, such as a unique snack or drink that is locally produced in your destination, or a sample of a homemade fragrance or candle that might originate from your property. Another option is to forgo collateral altogether and focus on creating shareable content for social media.
The Business Events industry will continue to change with technology, a younger workforce and evolving trends. It’s imperative that suppliers rise to the challenge of the times and offer buyers more than mundane information. It’s easy to blend in, but the goal of every supplier is to stand out.