Chelsea Cox: Power to the rate card

Have you ever got to the checkout with your weekly shop at your local supermarket and been asked what would you like to pay for it? No? Me neither.

 

Starting out in the world of exhibitions I had come from a background of sales management for a premium cosmetics brand where the word ‘discount’ didn’t exist.

 

On my first day I can vividly remember sitting at my desk and overhearing a sales pitch from a member of another team, I almost fell off my chair when he entered the pitch with: “What budget do you have for this space?”

 

Where is the art of selling in this I thought?

 

A couple of days later I had a meeting with my show manager and she expressed that for the launch of Be:Fit London, we would be setting ourselves apart from the traditional exhibition-selling technique and not negotiating on rate – I could have hugged her.

 

Having been instilled with the notion of if you need to discount then you aren’t selling the product properly, I was very happy that I wouldn’t solely be account managing and that I had the opportunity to demonstrate my own sales techniques.

 

I am extremely proud to say that I have never negotiated on rate, ever. Every single client I have ever worked with at Be:Fit London has paid rate card.

 

I work closely with my clients from an account management point of view and speak to every one of them at least fortnightly to ensure they are happy with the progress of the event, but also to find out about goings-on in their companies so that I am always up to date.

 

As a team we also host regular exhibitor training days and networking events, made possible by all of them knowing they have all paid the same rate and are therefore not experiencing any bad feeling should this be discussed.

 

Every year when Be:Fit London goes live, I get an immense feeling of fulfilment in walking around the event and seeing the effort and thought that has gone in to every single one of the stands. This is partly due to the clients being sold in to a premium event but also the account management provided that support and advice on what would work best for them.

 

Having had the honour of being one of the EN30/30, this is something I really wanted to talk about and express to the industry, perhaps if more emphasis was put on training salespeople properly in offering fantastic customer service, instead of giving them the lowest figure they can negotiate down to, we would see a big difference overall in revenue.

 

I genuinely believe so.

 

Going back to the first question I asked, if that was to have happened and you had a say in how much your shopping was, would you expect the same the next time round? Of course you would. It’s human nature.

 

So how does the thought process change? By never offering it in the first place. By standing your ground when it gets to four weeks pre-show and you still have money to bring in. Is it really worth discounting a few stands this late in the day and cause bad feeling from your other clients who have committed their money to you early on and in a sense, secured your event?

 

Surely these clients should be thanked and looked after by not doing so.

 

How would you feel if you had taken the time to queue outside your favourite shop in the hope of being the first to purchase their newest range only to find out that the four people at the back of the queue got 50 per cent off?

 

Understandably there are events out there that have thousands of sqm to fill every year and perhaps my feelings would change towards having to negotiate if this was the case for me.

 

I am lucky enough to work on a team that carry the same beliefs as I do and having launched with no negotiation on rates this has made it easier to carry it on through the years.

 

I imagine there are some people out there reading this and thinking, this girl doesn’t have a clue. I am a sales person; I have targets just like everyone else. If I told you that I haven’t missed a target in two years would you change your mind?

 

This article was first published in the December issue of EN. Any comments? Email Annie Byrne

 

Chelsea Cox
Posted by Chelsea Cox
PopularComments
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Others on EN

30% of Confex exhibitors are NEW

30% of Confex exhibitors are NEW

The Confex Showfloor, always a hive of activity, colour and buzz, welcomes a host of new exhibitors bringing even more pizzazz with new and unusual venues and destinations from all over the globe.
10 years in the making

10 years in the making

As the association has gone from strength to strength over the last 10 years, Andrew Harrison, ESSA director talks achievements, expertise and knowledge.
The Dealmaker in January

The Dealmaker in January

Steve Monnington of Mayfield Media Strategies runs the rule over the latest global exhibition deals.

WATCH THE EN AWARDS 2016 HIGHLIGHTS


silverstream.tv

Most Read Stories

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry, director of Easyfairs UK addresses the science behind operations and the profile of our audiences.
Steve Monnington: The Dealmaker in March

Steve Monnington: The Dealmaker in March

Steve Monnington of Mayfield Media Strategies, runs the rule over the latest global exhibition deals.
Helen Lowe: Marketing déjà vu

Helen Lowe: Marketing déjà vu

Helen Lowe, events and marketing manager at Europa International, talks about the importance of keeping up with the creativity amidst the chaos.

Latest News

Only one day left to get your EN Awards entries in

Only one day left to get your EN Awards entries in

Only one day left event profs! One day to make it count and enter your very best people, shows and companies into the 2017 EN Awards.
Movers & Shakers 18/01/16

Movers & Shakers 18/01/16

People moves at Inntel, Sodexo and BCD M&E and Zibrant Live!
Fast Forward 15 encourages future female talent to apply

Fast Forward 15 encourages future female talent to apply

Industry initiative Fast Forward 15 is looking for its third intake of mentees.

Latest Features

Going Live

Going Live

From small screen to show floor, organisers are creating immersive experiences by bringing the UK’s most popular TV shows to life
The art of brewing

The art of brewing

If you’re having a dry January, look away. Thirsty ale lovers read on for a taste of the upcoming Manchester Beer and Cider Festival.
Last Word with Ed Tranter

Last Word with Ed Tranter

The managing director of MA Exhibitions on his ocean blue Gibson Les Paul, wanting a licence to kill and being pen pals with the Queen.

Latest Galleries

London Boat Show 2017

London Boat Show 2017

Award-winning British actress Joanna Lumley OBE was on hand when the London Boat Show officially opened to crowds at ExCeL London.
NHM’s last dance with Dippy

NHM’s last dance with Dippy

The Natural History Museum hosted a New Year celebration for 600 revellers to make history and be part of the final event with the iconic Dippy the Diplodocus in the Hintze Hall.
Christmas lunch at ExCeL

Christmas lunch at ExCeL

Mash Media, ExCeL London and Brand Events came together with other industry bodies to host a festive lunch across East End London for Newham communities.