Tips & Best Practices for Family Entertainment Centers

Selling Happens Everywhere

Those of you that know me understand how much I love Las Vegas. Those that know me well believe I should start a 12 step program when it comes to my love of video poker! We all have our vices. However, last week during Fun Expo I had the great fortune to meet up with a terrific salesman at the nickel video poker machines!

I didn’t know the guy was a salesman and I don’t know that he was actually prospecting but WOW was I impressed with his salesmanship. J Brock, TrainerTainment VP, and I were playing video poker at the Hilton. We had our show badges on so that’s a great clue that we might be exhibitors at a trade show. JB was sitting next to me watching – his money ran out faster than mine (this is the gamble with triple play video poker!). A gentleman approached and asked if he could play JB’s machine. JB got up and moved to the other side and the new guy sat down.

This guy was friendly. He asked us what show we were attending and the conversation begin. Just like that, Steven from BEYOND EXHIBIT LOGISTICS, a logistics company, had struck up a casual conversation and put himself in position to make a great sale! I don’t know that his intent was to prospect but his approach was fantastic. Let me explain.

Just like all companies, we are always looking for ways to get more money to the bottom line. One of the primary ways we market TrainerTainment is to attend tradeshows. Even though our booth is fairly small it is very expensive to ship it back and forth from Texas to Las Vegas. I’m not sure why it has taken me 5 years to figure out that we might be able to save A LOT of money if we just leave the booth in Vegas.

I had already coordinated with a friend of mine who lives in Vegas to leave the booth in his garage. I worried about imposing but I was really looking for a solution to the expensive shipping options. My friend and I had decided that if the booth didn’t fit easily in his garage that I would rent a storage unit instead.

I was very concerned about how we were going to get the booth to and from the storage location and the shows that we attend. I give you this background information so that you can understand how timely it was for the logistics guy to sit next to us at the video poker machine.

Steve – video poker player, logistics guy, and Las Vegas enthusiast was so terrific. Like I said, he found out what show we were attending. In the course of the conversation I asked him what he did, and he explained that he walked all the trade shows in Las Vegas. His job included storing and managing the logistics of getting booths to and from the tradeshow floor. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even know there were those types of services. And I certainly didn’t think it was something I could afford.

In the short conversation we had at the video poker machines, I learned that for less than the cost of shipping our booth 1 way Steve’s company could take care of us for the entire year! I was hooked. I needed to know more. Steve asked about out booth number and promised to come by the show floor the next day.

We all got back to our video poker playing – (NO jackpots were hit), and set a plan in motion to get together the next day. As promised, Steve stopped by the booth the next day. He took care of all the details of getting our booth off the show floor and had plenty of other good money saving ideas that included sales of products that we could buy from his company.

Opportunity is everywhere. Steve may always prospect in this casual way. I’m going to ask him. It’s a smart way to find sales. His follow up was terrific. He loves and believes in the services his company provides. I wish I had known about him 5 years ago.

His prospecting made me think of how we all do business every day. Do you have the opportunity to prospect in places that are outside your four walls? Fundraisers, group events, parties, and field trips are needed by everyone you know. When’s the last time you started talking to a stranger about all the things you can do? Logistically thinking – I believe we could all take a lesson from Steve and start looking for opportunity everywhere!

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2 Comments

  1. Bryan on March 18, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Beth-

    Another great article! As you know, I’ve been selling FUN in one form or another my entire life. Yes, I have had the opportunity to sell FUN outside my four walls. On numerous occasions, I have been at a Grocery Store, Retail Store, Gas Station, etc…..wearing a Shirt or Name Tag from the business I was representing at the time. I have actually received pretty good leads from these chance encounters. And just like the Steve in Las Vegas, follow up is the key!!

  2. Beth Standlee on March 25, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Bryan,

    Thanks so much for your comment. I couldn’t agree with you more. If you are ready for that chance encounter AND follow up-there’s no limit to what you can do!

    Beth

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