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Implementing Technology and Psychology in Telemarketing

National Mortgage Professional
Dec 16, 2001

Quit Cutting Your Trade Show Budget!Susan A. Friedmanexhibiting, budget, booth, trade show Whenever there is a recession, companies immediately look to cut their budgets. Without much forethought, the first to hit the block is inevitably training, followed closely by marketing, because both are viewed as expenditures, as opposed to income generators. This is a very myopic way of thinking for companies who want to remain globally competitive. Companies should be putting their activities under a microscope to closely examine what they are doing and why. During profitable business cycles, the finance reins often loosen up, and some highly creative budget juggling takes place. However, as with all things, there needs to be a balance, and shortages add stability to overall operations. Whenever there is a high, a low is inevitably in hot pursuit. Instead of reacting to the highs and lows of the marketplace, what can your company do to maintain a steady balance? Marketing and training are definitely keys to your success, so let's examine five benefits and how they relate to your trade show participation. Analyze Your Weakest Links When you examine your operation in-depth, you will often discover that many of your actions are habitual. Think about some of the shows you have attended. How do they really fit into your marketing strategy? Are you attending out of routine or because your competition is there? The shows that utilize unnecessary time and energy are weak links. You should be putting all your energy into the more profitable events that attract larger quantities of your target market. Another weak budgetary link is associated with excessive employee spending at shows, such as dining at the finest restaurants and ordering the highest priced items. How about setting up a per diem allowance and making employees accountable for expenses? You can even reward them with the difference if they under-spend. Exhibit a Global Competitiveness Mind-Set To be a contender in the global marketplace, you need to be present all the time--rain or shine. Trade shows can be an essential marketing strategy by creating visibility, and exhibiting demonstrates that you are a serious player. Consider reducing the size of your booth before pulling out a show. If you stop exhibiting completely, the buzz on the showroom floor will imply that your company is in financial trouble. Whether that is true or not, it is people's perceptions that count, and as the old adage states, "Out of sight, out of mind." Focus on Long-Term Results Being invested in both marketing and training means that your company is interested in long-term results, and implementing them continuously in an organized manner will produce results. These strategies can be like a dripping faucet--so long as the drops constantly fall into the tub, it will eventually fill up. By the same token, if you keep turning the faucet on and off by discontinuing these strategies when there is a profit shortage, then your results are likely to mirror your actions. Search for an operational equilibrium to avoid the highs and lows. Inspire Loyal Workers Companies are often reluctant to invest too much money in staff training, fearing that they will leave for greener pastures with their new knowledge. That is always going to be a risk, but does that mean you should not allow your employees to be the best they can be? There are many reasons people leave a company, including frustration and stress, or feeling like they are undervalued. They might also be wary that they are on a sinking ship and want to jump off. Whatever the instance, training is often the key to inspiring loyalty. Improve Performance Employees are the backbone of your company. The relationship between employee and employer has to be a partnership; if an employee feels their needs are being ignored, they will leave you. But when both sides are on the same wavelength, the company will be on the track to success. What better place is there than the trade show floor is there to exhibit this mentality? Your staff behind the booth represents your internal customer service team and acts as your company's ambassadors. They have the increased responsibility of making or breaking future relationships with attendees, prospects and customers. Their attitude, body language, appearance and knowledge will form a visitor's perceptions of what your company has to offer. Make sure that your employees are well trained and able to do what is necessary. Eliminating your marketing and training budgets during times of recession is the equivalent of profitability suicide. So consider looking to other places to make those cuts! Susan A. Friedmann, the Trade Show Coach, works with exhibitors and show organizers to improve their trade show success through coaching, consulting and training. For more information, e-mail Susan at [email protected] or visit www.tradeshowsuccess.com.
Published
Dec 16, 2001
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