by Nancy E. Hassel, American Pet Professionals
After 4 days at Global Pet Expo of seeing your peers, meeting new people, learning about new products, being educated at Global Academy, being honored with awards at the show – many of us can be on a high while there. When we are at the show we can be fully enveloped in how much we love the chosen industry we are in, the buzz in the air and the jubilation of it all. It is after all the biggest pet industry trade show on the planet – and we have all worked so hard leading up to, while there, and if you’re like myself and many of my pet pro friends, had a lot of fun too! So it is normal to be so excited and pumped up while there, to come back to the reality of running our businesses and tasks of everyday life.
But you can keep that momentum going that you had while at Global after you get back. Maybe not running the miles of trade show floor, but the elation and inspiration that attending an industry event can do for you and your business. Here are some simple ideas how to keep that momentum going immediately after and throughout the year:
Business cards – If you are like me you probably have hundreds of new business cards just from attending Global (not to mention, brochures, catalogs, etc.). I do one simple thing immediately after Global (and some while I am there), I put on each card, GPE2018 or GPE18. This way in the future when I am going back to my ginormous binder of contacts, I know when and where I met that person, company, and brand. I do this for every single trade or pet consumer event I go to. It helps jive that memory down the road. Don’t have time to do this? Have your assistant do it for you.
Reach out – You and your team have more than likely made some fantastic connections while at Global, reach out to them after the show and also connect on LinkedIn. Send them a quick note, so great to meet you, let’s connect in a week or two. (We all need a few days or week to recover!). And actually, reach out when you say you will. Don’t let the business of life take over, stay in touch and see what you can do for them. Value first my friends.
Follow up – You may have written orders to retailers, after the shipment is at their store, follow up a week or two later to ask how the products are selling, if they have any questions, need display tips, help with answering any questions their customers may have and so forth. If you have reps of your line, have the rep in each area make an appointment with your new retailers to stop by their store to see if they have any product questions. Chances are they will be impressed with your follow up and care and become a champion for your product to their customers, which equals more sales on both ends. Sustaining that new relationship well after Global, and hopefully throughout the years.
Retailers – Let your customers know via social media, e-blasts, and in-store that you just go back from Global and you will be getting in a bunch of new lines, new products from your best selling brands, and invite them to your store to come learn about them. Something not selling as well as you thought it would? Contact the manufacturer for some tips and additional insights, (that you may have forgotten about after the show and 3,000+ displays), that will help you and your team sell their products.
Keep track of what new products are doing the best and why. When customers return to buy more of the new lines you have, ask them why. Jot it down in a notebook or word doc, (that hopefully, you are already doing), and know what your customers love about them. You can also use their insights to add to your sales pitch of the new products to other customers with similar pet needs.
Apply that knowledge – Did you go to any of the seminars at Global? Did you take a ton of notes during them? Were you crazy inspired, can’t wait to apply what you learned? I know I was, I always take a seminar or 3 while there. When I get back I make sure that I apply the knowledge I learned while there to my business. Set a plan and goals to achieve with the knowledge you learned while there. You will thank yourself for it a year from now when you are looking at what seminar to take at Global 2019!
Reflect – I love to take some quality time to reflect on what I learned at Global, be inspired by what I saw and who I met. Whether it is taking the time to quietly look through all the materials, or just taking a super long walk in the woods with my dog to think, not be distracted and be in the moment. Reflecting really helps with the inspiration process and new ideas pop in when we give them a chance to.
Say thank you – This should go without saying, but don’t forget to send a thank you whether it is via email, text, PM, DM or an actual snail mail card, to the team, person, people who helped you while at the show. Someone who went above and beyond did a seamless job (even if that is their job to do so), brought you that coffee or extra water, helped you pack your booth, shared an Uber with, attended your event while at Global, etc. Whatever it was that stands out to the smallest act of kindness someone did for you – send them a thank you, let them know you appreciate what you did. It will brighten their day and make them remember you.
Anything special you do after Global to keep the momentum going? Let us know in the comment section below!