Vendor Events Tip: Don’t Do Cash & Carry!

Is it better to make a little bit of money or a whole lot of money?

Seems to me that I heard that on a recent TV commercial…..

The answer of course is that it is better to make a whole lot of money!

When you go to a vendor event there are times (Christmas season may be one) that a cash and carry situation is required but generally most vendor events allow you to decide how you manage your booth.

Cash And Carry Takes Too Much Time

Vendor event

Sandy Kreps, marketing her business at a vendor event. She is looking for the next stay at home Mom to join her Team!

The time it takes to do a cash and carry sale at a fair, festival or vendor event may allow the most important lead of the day to walk right by!

I do not recommend that you focus on selling at expos but rather put the focus on finding leads!

A new consultant or an ideal host could bring thousands if not 10’s of thousands of dollars into your business in the future. Cash and carry sales only give you income today.

Plus my experience with cash and carry is that you:

Carry it in…. and carry it out!

It is more work and has rarely paid off in my experiences!

Expo Events For Leads

The purpose of going to vendor events is for leads.

When you understand what a lead is your time will be more effective. A lead is far bigger than sales or bookings it is the open to all possibilities!

If you go for sales then you may be missing the next new consultant that would be paying your mortgage!


Case in point…. (not bragging here just making a point):

Had my upline been involved with selling product at the vendor event and allowed ME to walk by the table without talking to him he would have missed the one lead that ended up paying his mortgage for the next 7 years!

Deb Bixler and Doris Christopher
Deb with Pampered Chef founder Doris Christopher at the 20th Anniversary Celebration that took place her first year with the company.

This was an all expense paid trip to Chicago because she was one of the top 20 in the company for personal party plan sales.

This is not an exaggeration!

The commission overrides that my upline received on my personal sales exceeded his mortgage payment!

If he had been busy selling a wooden spoon what would he have missed out on!!!
vendor event
Think about it.

A lead is far more valuable than a sale!

All leaders in direct sales say that they are waiting for the ONE that will make a difference….

Did you ever think that the ‘one in a million’ person already passed by because you were too busy making a sale at a vendor event?

Cash ‘N Carry & Leads

If you want to attempt to do both cash and carry and find good leads then put some thought into how you set up and staff your booth.

Make sure that the cash and carry section does not prevent the flow of visitors. A big crowd looking at products is not conducive to qualifying leads.

You may also want to rotate team members through the sales and lead positions in a routinely changing time schedule so that everyone can benefit.

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    Shared by: Deb Bixler:

    Well, Rosetta – Getting web traffic is a big topic. SEO people are paid big bucks and it is tough to find one that aggrees with another!!

    They key is ‘connecting the web’ as much as possible!

    Here is an article about that:

    Try to be consistent and be everywhere you can!!

    This is the online marketing category here on the Cash Flow Show.

    Hope that helps a little! I longevity and consistency is key!

    Shared by: Rosetta Slutskt:

    I am disabled and cannot do vendor events anymore. I have to sign up to sell for online products only. Do you have anything on getting traffic? If so please let me know. Thank you

    Shared by: Deb Bixler:

    Joannie – This is a video on anther post that will probably give you some great ideas on setting up your booth and how to work it!

    Shared by: Joannie:

    I would really be interested in more info on getting those leads. How would u set up your table. And how you approach :)
    Love this idea!

    Shared by: Deb Bixler:

    Glad to hear, Marianne – so many people balk at this concept! It will make a difference!

    Shared by: Marianne Glynn:

    Great article. I started cutting back on the amount of cash & carry at my events late last year. I was tired of trucking in all that product. I found that less is more! I sold more products, got better leads for Hosts and got my first recruit.

    Shared by: Ronnette:

    I do alot of events and get anxiety when I can’t sell my cash and carry. Time to rethink my time and investment at them. Thank you for a great article.

    Shared by: Carrie:

    thank you Deb…great wisdom about vendor events…sharing with my TEAm!

    Shared by: SusanD:

    Loved this article and conversation!

    Shared by: Deb Bixler:

    Very good points, Judy and Robin. Thanks for taking the time to comment and reinforcing the article concepts.

    Shared by: Robin Shumate:

    Love this article and it hit home for me. I do both Thirty-One and most recently joined Perfectly Posh. I’ve done many events and felt like my Thirty-One cash and carry looked like a trashy yard sale. I KNOW I have let booking and possible recruits get away! My first event for PP is coming up but it will be at a small church, focus is get Christmas shopping done early so I will have some C&C but not much. I want to focus on having people sample the product and building my team! I’m the only PP consultant in my area so I feel lonely. Working hard to change that! Thanks!

    Shared by: Judy Parsons:

    If I had not talked to the “little old lady” who didn’t buy a thing when I set up at a county park yard sale, I would have lost what has turned into over 100 shows and 2 new team members in the last 2 years!

    Shared by: Kim Thompson-Pinder:

    It’s good to know that I have been on the right track all along. Always a good read Deb.

    Shared by: Pam Shaw:

    I’m not surprised that this article made the Top 10 List. I often discuss it with my direct sales friends. For me, leads are my reason for doing vendor show. There will be plenty of time for sales.

    Shared by: Pam Shaw:

    I loved ths article. There’s freedom in being able to focus on relationship rather than request. With the right kind of lead, there will be plenty of time to make the sale.

    Shared by: Linda:

    I have done the carry in/carry out scene! Now I will be focusing on the leads!

    Shared by: Janice Watts:

    I agree! I have carried a lot of products in to sell and end up carrying most of it back out. I do a gift basket or gift item and get people to fill out a an information getting their info and asking if they are interested in 4 things: extra income, hosting a party, receiving free merchandise, or fundraising opportunities! Not everybody tells me what they are interested in, but if they are interested, they do!

    Shared by: kathy hill:

    WOW…great advice thanks!

    Shared by: Carolyn Rogers:

    Going into an event with a “generate leads” focus rather than a “sell” focus might keep you from being disappointed at the end of it all.
    Also, you won’t come off as a desperate salesman,
    you’ll just be cultivating relationships, right?

    Shared by: Ann-Maree Bennett:

    So far, I have only done one vendor event and I certainly focussed on leads and not sales. There are a couple that may pan out as future customers/parties but I do not believe I would have made any worthwhile sales there on the evening. I remember other people trying to sell there and they did very little in sales and they sat behind their stands whereas I stood in front of my stand and spoke to people as they walked past me.

    Shared by: Beth Kilburn:

    This gives me something to think hard about. At the 3 vendor events I’ve done so far (the first 2 were with my Upline and the 3rd was on my own), while trying to focus on both selling and leads, I ended up focusing more on selling. At the one I did on my own, I didn’t even make back my booth rent. Maybe if I’d focused more on leads, I could say differently…

    Shared by: Martha:

    Another great concept for direct sellers, although I think many go with the primary idea of selling at a vendor event. Although my main goal is to get bookings and find someone interested in the business, I do take a very small amount of inventory, so maybe I’ve missed a future hostess or team member.

    Shared by: Colleen Laux:

    A great reminder. Of course I need to continue working on actually mining the leads that I do get at these events

    Shared by: Krystyne:

    It is very difficult to get shows locally because there are so many consultants and my upline seems to have all the shows booked. We have to sell her cash and carry to pay for the table cost. I wonder if she would be open to doing a rotation for leads/sales. Good idea.

    Shared by: Amy S.:

    This was fascinating!! Never thought of vendor events that way! Going to try your approach at my next event! Thanks for sharing such great info!!

    Shared by: Peter Gibson:

    Love this artical Deb. This outlines what I have been doing wrong at these events. I did one last spring where I focused on leads and had a much better time at that event then I did at my previous ones.

    Shared by: Mary Hanus:

    I did shift my focus after reading this article the first time…what a difference!

    Shared by: Maria S Burke:

    I agree! that relationship is so important! Network, network!

    Shared by: Erica:

    I had not thought of expos in this way. Time to shake things up a bit.

    Shared by: Deb Bixler:

    There are many ways to work a booth! If it is working for you, Loretta – then keep up the good work!

    Shared by: Loretta:

    I have done events and have used the cash and carry as a way to draw people in. I do not offer the same great deals with cash and carry that a customer or hostess would receive at a party…so while they are looking I use that opportunity to tell about he product/company and to tell them what they would get as a hostess.

    Shared by: Dawn Mulvey:

    I always tell my team to focus on bookings and recruits.

    Shared by: Sharon Spears:

    This is great

    Shared by: Dana:

    :) Sorry I am a spelling freak. I offer to do proofreading for people all the time. :)

    Shared by: Deb Bixler:

    I agree with you 100% Dana – Which is why I have a “Peg The Proofer” go over every article I post.

    Not sure if she did this one, or just missed that but thanks for pointing it out!

    Shared by: Dana:

    The title should be “Cash and Carry Takes *Too Much Time.” I don’t think it looks good for your business or bodes well for your leadership skills when you make spelling errors.

    Shared by: Deb Bixler:

    We are talking about investing in vendor events not selling at parties or sales events, Amanda –

    Even a strictly cash ‘n carry company consultant should use a vendor event for finding those parties, rather than selling at the vendor event. As you said the party is cash and carry so, a vendor event that generates several parties will pay off long term in sales and team building more than selling actual product at the expo or vendor event will.

    And of course there are exceptions to every rule!

    Shared by: Amanda:

    Yes, you are right, events should focus on generating leads and networking.

    However, many direct sales companies offer ONLY cash and carry products. For instance, Paparazzi Accessories, does not have catalogs. We focus on cash and carry – our goal is home parties.

    Therefore, we are looking for repeat customers at events. We want those shoppers to book a party, so we can 1) have future sales and 2) find new consultants. In Paparazzi, we can make a great living selling JUST the product, we are not reliant on teambuilding. That is considered a bonus.

    Shared by: Kim Miller:

    This gives me a LOT to think about! I am currently doing two DS businesses. One is easy to do Cash & Carry (Miche Bag) and the other is not so much (Origami Owl) I have a vendor show this weekend so I will put this plan into place! Thanks!

    Shared by: Amy Barnett:

    I wish you had joined my team!! LOL – good points, thanks!

    Shared by: Kerstin Bridges:

    Excellent article Deb! I have done a few events and agree that the focus should be on gathering leads. I also attend events as a visitor/customer to gather leads as every business/vendor is a potential prospect. Thank you!

    Shared by: Deb Bixler:

    Glad to hear that you are taking the lesson to heart, everyone – Beth – you can do it!! Thanks for sharing! I love it!

    Shared by: Beth Radigan:

    Thanks!I’m trying to take everything in and do things differnt this time. Many times in other DS companies, I was more like an “order taker” and didn’t concentrate on what they needed long term, just that quick sales. Doing things a lot different this time! :-)

    Shared by: Alishia:

    Beth, remember to have a solid plan for turning those leads into bookings so that you get your return on investment :-) getting the lead is only the first step AND if you can book them on the spot, even better. Right Deb?

    Shared by: Beth Radigan:

    Everyone seems to want “it” now & not wait but after reading this article I will focus on leads more than just customers. Maybe have my upline help with crowd coverage.

    Shared by: Alishia Willardson:

    Lol. We’d be millionaires if everyone did.

    Shared by: Deb Bixler:

    Thanks for your 2 cents Alishia!! Love it if EVERYONE put in 2 cents!!

    Shared by: Alishia Willardson:

    This is true because booking parties secures future business. I suggest setting up your table in such a way that you draw in leads that you book right there on the spot, get ’em while they’re hot. Just my 2 cents. Great article Deb

    Shared by: Deb Bixler:

    Thanks for always sharing and adding to the conversation, Sandy! It is no wonder you are a success working from home.

    Love the baby… she is a great draw and also a great lead in to conversation about making money AND spending time with the kids! (Do you think you could deduct diapers as a ‘marketing’ expense”? LOL)

    Shared by: Sandy Kreps:

    Thanks for including my picture, Deb! I was doing cash & carry sales at that show; however, my focus was on meeting people and finding leads. We had people enter a prize drawing, and of course you can see the “Start Your Own Business” banner behind me. I was there with a team member so one of us could always be chatting, even if the other had to stop to help a customer.

    The baby was a big help too. She draws a crowd! Haha.

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