OTC 2014

When you attend OTC (or any trade show) it’s important to be able to show that the investment was worth it. It can be challenging to determine the ROI of attending events, but if you can immediately close a couple of sales that are attributed to your attending…you will be a rock star.

On-site selling can be very difficult but we are here to help. Below are six steps you can take to successfully pull off on-site sales at OTC.

Also don’t forget that we are giving away over 19,000 oil & gas contacts (worth over $5,300.00) for free the week after OTC. Stay tuned or sign up for our blog posts (click here) to be notified.

1. Reserve a Room at OTC
Nobody ever thinks about this, but you can (if you plan early) rent a room either at the Reliant Center Mezzanine Level or at the Reliant Stadium. OTC is very loud and the exhibit floor is not business friendly.

You can engage a potential customer anywhere at OTC – but to be able to answer questions thoroughly, limit distractions, and do a demo or discuss a proof of concept you will need a quiet space and some privacy. This will give you a chance to talk one-on-one with the people who are really interested in your product or service and give them the attention they need.

And if you’re a small business, you can always find another small business and split the expense.

 2. Refine Your 40-Second Pitch
You will only have 40 seconds before you lose the attention of the person you’re trying to engage. That’s why it’s so damn important to perfect your 40-second elevator pitch before the week of OTC.

An effective pitch will include an uber short description of what problem your product/service solves and exactly what is the value to that person your talking too.

Practice, practice & practice BEFORE the week of OTC.

3. Get Invited to the “Invitation Only” Events
When you visit the various booths on the Expo floor, as the sales folks if their company is hosting any event that week such as crawfish boils, barbeques or cocktail events. These are the prized “invitation only” events that the public is never privy too.

Then simply ask the sales person to add you to this years invitation list, or if the event has already happened – next years. Then promise to bring a prospect or two for that salesperson. This works every time and the nice thing is once you’re on that lists, you will be invited back every year!

4. Identify the Companies That Will Be Attending & Do Your Research
Figuring out which companies are sending representatives to OTC ahead of time can be very valuable. Check out the exhibitor’s listing on the OTC website (click here)

Then do something out of the box with that information. If you’re a B2B company that sells to various industries and you see that there is one industry dominating the exhibitor’s list, come up with something that will specifically capture the attention of people in that industry. You can also conduct some competitive analysis on the attending companies’ competitors so you have the ability to, on a more personal level, show companies how they will be able to use your product to compete with their competitors.

This type of info will be intimately fascinating to those managing their booths. And all it takes is a little pre-work and you’re in the door.

5. Use CTA to Drive Interactions at OTC
In your OTC marketing, you should always be prompting attendees to complete a certain action. So if you’re looking to increase on-site sales, you need to make sure you connect the call-to-action(CTA) in your marketing materials to something attendees can do at OTC.

Don’t ask attendees to sign up for a free trial or to visit a targeted landing page as this won’t even move the needle.

Instead ask them to attend a targeted lunch or breakfast track, meet at a specific location for drinks and appetizers or schedule a quick briefing on how your product/service has helped companies similar to theirs.

Using technology as part of your OTC marketing can make this easier to accomplish. Display QR codes accompanied by your CTA so people can easily take the next step. For example, you could include a CTA on your marketing collateral that explains the value of booking a one-on-one consultation with one of your reps during OTC and asks them to scan the QR code to schedule an appointment in the private meeting room you set up in step 1.

6. Make Connections Before & During OTC
To get the most out of your sales presence at OTC, you’ll first need to promote that you’ll actually have a presence ahead of time (like we are doing with this blog post). Leading up to OTC create content (e.g. blog posts, social media updates, emails) about OTC and your presence there, and try to set up appointments with prospects who would benefit from meeting you in person.

If your goal is to generate as many on-site sales as possible, the people you connect with before and during the event are very important. The more you can educate yourself about prospects before OTC, the more prepared you’ll be to make the sale, and the more effective your in-person elevator pitch will be.

During the event, you should also use social media and OTC’s hashtag (#OTCHOUSTON) to let attendees know where to find you on either the trade show floor or OTC in general.

Don’t be pushy with prospects who don’t seem ready to buy on site; after the event has come to an end, follow up with your leads and use some type of lead nurturing campaign or drip list to continue building the relationship with the contacts you’ve interacted with at OTC. This can easily lead to many, many new sales over the next 12 months.