The sixth minute approach to sales

The sixth minute

Landing a sale is the name of the game when it comes to business, and according to Inc. Magazine, five minutes are all you need to determine if a sale is feasible and whether the client is interested. It's an under-the-gun tactic to rapid sales and it may just be the way to effectively and efficiently handle business under pressure. It supposedly doesn't matter what the product is or to whom companies are selling.

Yet, in this world of online price comparison shopping, customers are often reticent to sign up until they've done some of their own research. As such,  potential sales could be lost to another company or product in the sixth. This is especially true in high-volume, fast-paced markets such as trade shows, where people often have less than five minutes to push products, and in the time after customers have left businesses' booths, they have to somehow hold onto customers' attention. Promotional products implemented properly can be that tool.

The five explained
The condensed timeline as explained by Inc. Magazine starts with getting clients' attention. In the first minute, businesses have to make their pitch, outlining the product as well as a client's needs. They should do research about their potential client beforehand in preparation for this component. The second minute is centered on getting the specifics of a those needs in order to be able to offer a more detailed solution. Minute three is for proposing those solutions, minute four is when sellers establish a timeline to implement that solution and minute five is when they must ask plainly whether a customer is interested.

The five-minute rule may be a helpful guideline to establishing a relationship with a customer and determining how to serve their needs best. If done properly, it may even land a sale. However, often businesses may find themselves with interested customers who have decided to mull over their options. It is at that moment that companies may wish they had set up some way to continue making an impression once the clients leave.

The showtime analogy
Making sales at trade shows isn't always like making sales in other situations. As Forbes recently pointed out in a booth marketing piece following the International Consumer Electronics Show, it may be more important for companies at trade shows to tell an interesting story with their stall as opposed to just selling a product or service. Additionally, customers can be easily scared away at by businesses that try to immediately close a sale. Given that trade shows in some ways defy the rush attitude of the five-minute rule it can be a good place to learn how to work on that long game. 

Part of a trade show is raising awareness of your brand and sticking out in the minds of customers after the fact. Apart from flashy booths and memorable demonstrations, people may be drawn to businesses that choose to actively engage their customers. As Forbes suggested, promotional giveaways don't just need to be handed out – they can be part of a game or contest. Promo items, especially those acquired during a meaningful interaction with a customer, may serve as a reminder later on of a personalized experience with a business, which can be just the thing to win over new customers. Outside of the trade show world, gifts can still be used as a way for businesses to follow up with potential clients and potentially win them over if they were on the fence at the end of five minutes.

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