It is often said that the first conversation with a potential customer should have absolutely nothing to do with the product. Rather, this conversation should be a time for you to get an adequate understanding of who that client is, what his/her needs are, how they prefer to be contacted, how long they’ve been in the market, etc. Not having that information before the show can make for a clunky experience when the customer arrives.
As salespeople, we often think we should jump right into the deal, thinking the customer doesn't want their time wasted or they already have their mind made up, which can be untrue for some. It’s likely they have already looked into, or are familiar with your competitors and have chosen to shop with you over them. This is why delighting the client and establishing positive rapport can be the deciding factor in what leads to the sale.
Once you have established a rapport and identified your customers needs, you are one step ahead of the competition. When he/she arrives at your facility for your open house, boat show, etc, greet them by name and you can take them to the exact product that was discussed. Notice that since their wants/needs had been previously established, you avoid having to fish that information out of the customer while they are there or wasting both their time and yours by pitching products or services that they have no interest in. This elicits a sense of grace by getting straight to the matter of interest. Additionally, now that you and the customer both know exactly what they want, this is the time to discuss the fine details, which is what clients in the modern tech age want. They can often find out specs and other information in the comfort of their own home, so be prepared for questions that involve your personal experience with the product. That information is invaluable to a prospective customer and can really add a personal human element to the product of interest.
Another reason to contact your attendees before your event is, like with any major purchase, a customer will usually want some time to think about their purchase decision before buying. It is important to make contact before your event to give them time before they arrive to increase their chances of being ready to purchase when you finally meet them.
Remember, the customer is in control; they are the one with the money and they are the one who wants to make the purchase. No longer can salespeople be the gatekeeper of information. Now that the internet makes information available for everyone, delighting your customers is a key component in standing out among the vast rest. Equally, knowing your customers purchasing desires can give you that extra edge when you finally meet in person at your event.
Below is a link to listen how we invite our customers.