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About Dale

Dale Limes, MAS, is Senior Vice President of Sales for HALO Branded Solutions. He is an industry veteran of 27 years, a frequent trainer at industry events, and consults with distributors at every level to help increase sales and efficiency. Dale and HALO are committed to helping industry salespeople by openly sharing top producer sales secrets for professional betterment of our industry.

Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
7 Pieces of Advice Before Upgrading
Oct 6, 2015

Most everyone wants the latest and greatest upgrade to technology, especially when it’s a free update, like Windows 10 or...

Million Dollar Mindset with Greg Muzzillo

Greg Muzzillo
'Can't' Is a Four-letter Word
Oct 5, 2015

Most of us learned the four-letter words we shouldn’t say when we were in school. We heard the words in...

Ask the Accountant

Harriet Gatter
Do I Have to Collect Sales Tax for Out-of-state Sales?
Oct 2, 2015

Question: Do I have to collect sales tax for out-of-state sales? It depends, and it's complicated. State governments would like...

Jeff's Rant

Jeff Solomon, MAS
What Can We Learn from The Artist Formerly Known as Prince?
Oct 1, 2015

Since I recently wrote a commentary titled 'Are You Too Old To Rock,' I thought I would share another thought from the...

Kiwi's Coaching Corner

Paul  Kiewiet
So What's Holding You Back?
Sep 24, 2015

Are you afraid to fail? Or are you afraid to get started because you might fail? The late TV preacher...

Lights, Camera, Promotion!

Brittany Hahn
The Mayor of Funkytown
Sep 23, 2015

Each Power Box has its own personality. Power Box 1 is really into dubstep music. He raves hard all weekend long. On...

Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
Ask the Accountant
Jul 24, 2015

Question: I am starting out as an ad specialty distributor. Is it better to set up my books on a...

Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
Gotta Love These Supplier Best Practices
Sep 1, 2015

I’ve been in the promotional products industry for more than 25 years, both selling products and programs, and coaching and...

Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
A Cycle Of Engagement
Jun 10, 2015

In 2015, the journey of the promotional products professional in shifting prospects to clients is more challenging than ever. With...

Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Swing All the Way Through
Apr 20, 2015

From time to time, I’ve written about a situation involving one of my kids, and after observing something recently, it’s...

Compliance Chat

Jeff Jacobs
The Exact Cause Was Never Determined
Apr 3, 2015

If you read what normally is in this space, you've seen a lot about the protocol it takes to manufacture...

Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
Measure the ROI at Trade Shows (Using the Right Mix of Creative and Promotional Products)
Dec 30, 2014

Every year more and more products are being introduced into the market, and after a while it all looks the...

Editor's Notes

Nichole Stella
The Perfect Match
Mar 5, 2013

The Super Bowl has also become the Ad Bowl, where brands duke it out to see who has the funniest,...


Kyle Richardson
The Best Laid Plans
Jul 11, 2014

Why it's always smart to keep a planner with your schedule and important documents, and why it's never smart to...

Promotional Fashionista

Colleen McKenna
5 Soccer Promotions for After the World Cup
Jul 1, 2014

Studies show that Americans prefer soccer to NASCAR. Here are five items to sell to soccer fans....

Mike's Blog

Michael Cornnell
Interview with Jason Black, CEO of Top Distributor Boundless Network
May 19, 2014

Ranking #19 on the Top 50 List, Black shares his thoughts on the future of the industry and what has...

The Hot Button

Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS
"How It's Made" Can Make You More
Jun 11, 2014

The show "How Its Made" is celebrating its 22nd season on television. How can we be a hit, season after season,...

Be Dazzled

Elise Hacking Carr
Got Control Issues?
May 14, 2014

Does chaos define you? How you respond to certain situations says a lot about your character. Here are five quotes...

Big Picture Promo

Matt Kaspari, CAS
Meeting Clients Where They Are
Oct 24, 2013

Promotional marketing is at its best when it empowers a client’s brand, meets his or her objectives and fits within...

My Two Cents

Rick Brenner
For Promotional Product Sales, Protect Your Client's Brand
Jun 3, 2013

Whether you are selling to a global brand like Nike or to your local YMCA, no single asset is more...

The Sales Challenge

Bill Farquharson
Think and Succeed
May 29, 2012

What would happen if you woke up in the morning and your first thought was, "I am never going to...

Creating More Purposeful Sales Conversations

Lisa Leitch, CSP, MAS
Under 100 Days to Achieve 2011 Goals
Oct 20, 2011

It's hard to believe, but there are fewer than 100 days left to achieve 2011 goals! Are you on track...

Achieve Trade Show Success in 2013


Heading to an industry show soon? Trade shows are an important part of our industry, and to get the best return on your time and monetary investment, we may have a few ideas to help.

First ... you need a plan. I know, you have heard this before, but it is true. Without a game plan for working the show all you will end up with is a ton of samples, a spinning head, and two sore feet.

There are many opinions on how to work a trade show, but we have found that many of our salespeople have achieved trade show success by following this simple two-step approach—first, know exactly where you want to go and who you want to see; next, know what you will ask or discuss when you arrive at each booth before leaving for the show.

Let's start by looking at the general categories available to you at each show: Vendor Exhibits, Professional Development Workshops, Keynote Luncheon Speakers, Awards Presentations, Dinners, Parties and even a Book Store.

Study these categories, select the ones you want to attend and mark the dates and times on your show map.

Before you arrive, obtain a map of the show floor, a handful of highlighters and the exhibitor list. Make a list of the vendors you plan to see first and highlight them in yellow, then mark the secondary vendors in a different color. Primary suppliers could be day one, and secondary day two. Use the booth numbers to plan the easiest route to see each in the order of their booth placement.

With your map in hand it will be very easy to work the show in an efficient manner. If you run out of time and can't stop at all the booths at least you will have stopped at the most important vendors that you wanted to see.

Another important step that many sales professionals follow is to have a separate sheet in a small binder for each supplier you are visiting with key questions you want to cover to jump-start your sales year. For small distributor owners, it could be 2013 pricing strategy, terms or perhaps sample policies. For other sales professionals, you might ask about spec sample policies, new marketing tools or which items in their line sold to what market in 2012. Having planned questions is professional and efficient!

An alternative tip is to use a digital voice recorder to record notes as you walk the show. Say the vendor name, ASI number, item number or description and move on. Even better, use the camera in your cell phone to visually document your most important "finds" or to immediately email the image to important clients.

One of your most important questions to answer is: Do I pick up samples and catalogs? Many sales people do not pick up anything at the show but they do order what they need and have it shipped back to their office.

Here is our question ... There are several large shows coming up including the industry's largest, PPAI Expo Las Vegas. Will it be a productive show that will help you earn more money or will you be a Trick-or-Treater and come home with bag after bag of samples that will never get used and probably be sitting in your office in July?

We hope you follow our previous recommendations and get more out of the show than sore feet.

Best of success!

Dale Limes, MAS, is Senior Vice President of Sales for HALO Branded Solutions. He is an industry veteran of 27 years, a frequent trainer at industry events, and consults with distributors at every level to help increase sales and efficiency.

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