Calculating stockTakes 10 minutes to read
Stock your stand
It’s not an exact science, but calculating how much stock and collateral you’re going to need is an essential skill that you can build on with every show.
- Draw on your knowledge base
- Bring a bit more than enough
- Stock a wide range
- Use your stock to open sales talk
- How many flyers, entry forms, and brochures?
- Keep track of what happens
Your company and products are unique – and no one knows them better than you. Based on your experience with selling your products so far, what level of demand do you expect at the show? Your estimate should take into account such factors as your price point, the affluence of show visitors, the expected audience size, and whether you’re running a show special or not. You can get a rough idea of how many visitors will be ‘hot prospects’ for your company by estimating what percentage of visitors to a show will be interested in buying your products. Our Post Show Reports contain heaps of stats that will help you work out these estimates.
One basic rule of thumb is to bring more stock than you think you will be able to sell at the show – but don’t go too far overboard. You don’t want to sell out halfway through the show, but neither do you want to incur greater transport and other costs by transporting a lot more stock than you need.
It’s often difficult to predict which products will sell the best, especially if your business is young and you’re still in the process of assessing your market. And different products may sell better at certain times than at others. The safest course may be to bring a decent amount of everything so if one product goes particularly well, you’ve got enough stock on hand to meet demand.
If a customer shows interest in a product but is hesitant to buy, you can use the opportunity to show them examples of the same product in different styles or similar products that may appeal to them more.
As a general guide, you should provide enough pieces of collateral to target 20% of the expected total number of visitors. Many people will attend a show with a spouse, friend, or colleague, and often only one of each pair will accept a piece of collateral – so another way to estimate your print run is to produce enough copies to cover half of the expected number of ‘hot prospects’ that you worked out in Step 1.
Selling face-to-face is a prime opportunity to observe your market in action and assess the popularity of your entire inventory. If something doesn’t sell well, try to figure out why and use the lessons learned to tighten up your inventory for next time. And if something goes gangbusters, you know where to put your focus going forward. Do a stock take after the show and track how many flyers you distributed. Update your records and factor the results into your thinking for the next show.