Sales Street Festival

Unfortunately, I find that disparaging views on Roadshows in solution selling prevail. They are seen as events that suck in a lot of a salesperson’s precious time only to yield very little return in the way of quality leads. And anyway, shouldn’t they be a function of marketing alone?

Even in sales teams that have the largest of marketing departmental support, negativity surrounding such activity abounds.

I do accept that in (the majority, surely?) of instances where the salesperson takes this on as their own initiative, the workload can appear disproportionately large for a limited reward, yet they are marvellous chances to shine and shore up the future pipeline.

One example that I was party to in the middle of the decade featured the world of plastic building materials. One chap called Laurence, with a South London patch centred around a Croydon depot, took on with ardour holding an Open Day. Most of the other twenty-or-so in the team thought he was nuts.

Yet he generated brand new revenue of around £150k. And when you consider it was mostly run-rate business that flowed, he ensured smashing his numbers and tasty commission. Astonishingly, only one of his colleagues attempted to replicate his feat…

Possibly my favourite steakhouse in Cape Town is on a road where, in the middle of a residential area, six restaurants incongruously sit side-by-side. Last time there I noted that on the 28th they combine to spearhead their latest annual street carnival. Not only can you taste mini-sized portions from each, but they’ve managed to gather together over fifty other firms to have stalls along the strip.

This kind of festival thinking is becoming well-established in the provincial area. It seems that every week, another outlying town or city suburb holds its own shindig.

And if the experience of my local steakhouse proprietor is anything to go by, they all find it a worthwhile enterprise.

So maybe that’s the answer to the open day workload conundrum. Share the burden. Who also sells to your customers? How else can you tempt your target market to leave their office? What can be gained from considering their overall process that’ll make you different?

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