I exhibit at trade shows but find it hard to make connections with sales agents and distributors, any tips on how to seek them out?

Question

Great webinar, really useful! I exhibit at trade shows but find it hard to make connections with sales agents and distributors, any tips on how to seek them out?

This question was asked at our recent webinar – Finding the right agent or distributor to grow your business overseas

Answer

Hi Cherith,
Glad you liked the webinar, Thanks
I’m sure you do these things, but just in case, here are some ideas!
1) Put a sign on your stand saying ‘Distributors & Agents wanted’.
2) Make sure you cover the whole show first thing in the morning or last thing at night looking for potential partners who may be exhibiting.
I go 30 minutes before the end of play at the show ( providing I have cover !)
3) Ask similar exhibitors who they use.
4) Breakfast or evening network sessions.
5) Bar of the largest Hotel nearest after the show.

Hope this helps,
Regards
Steve

Answer

Hi Cherith,

Please find here a few points about how to deal with a distributor: http://www.thebrc.co.uk/distributor/

Hope this helps,

Lorela

Answer

Hi Cherith
It’s all in the preparation! Here are some tips on getting this part of the trade fair right:

The starting point is to know what your specific trade show objectives are. Im guessing in your case it will be securing a new international partner in your chosen market? You also need to ensure that the correct target audience for you will be attending &possibly exhibiting at the show too.

So if it’s seeking a new distributor in say Sweden you need to focus on finding out which other Swedish companies will be exhibiting via the show’s website (could any of these be potential partners?) & do some background work to check for any suitability. And even if they aren’t right then just by speaking with them they may be able to refer you to other Swedish companies that could be!

Speak also with the Swedish equivalent of your trade association – they may be able to signpost you to other potential partners via their large network of members.

Do some on-line research using google.se and google translate using keywords. I used this once and secured a fantastic new Swedish distributor by finding them on the internet and then cold calling them.

Linked in/linked in search can also be highly powerful to get to the right target distributors and using the groups related to your industry or specific to the trade fair can be great at seeing who is attending too.

Also leverage any existing contacts you have for business tips in that market and any connections that could be useful for you too.

Once you’ve got your eye on a few potential candidates then you must do your upmost to set meetings with them during the show. Everyone is going to be so busy that unless you pin them down to a fixed time you risk missing out spending some invaluable time with them.

If you would like any further insight on exhibition success then please get in touch. I’m a seasoned exhibitor and know how to maximise shows,particularly when it comes to finding new partners!

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