How To Sell At The CBF: Julian Hurst - Children's Business Fair

Forget the product! It’s actually all about you. So says Julian Hurst who’s put on almost 500 events, exhibitions and conferences – so, he knows a thing or two about selling. Here, he shares his tips about how to maximise your sales at the Children’s Business Fair.

Imagine you were 13-years old and launching your own business at the Children’s Business Fair. What three things would you do to help sell more? 

First, create goals. Think carefully about what you want to achieve and set a clear target. Concentrate on your aims, don’t get bogged down with everything else going on at the fair.

Second, ask open questions. You only have a few seconds to get the potential buyer to stop, so make it fun and ask questions, so people have to answer (ie: Start your questions with a What? Why? If? How?, rather than questions with a Yes/No answer.)

Third, tell a story. It could be a story relating to your product. You want people to talk about it around the fair. This will help drive people to your stand rather than rely entirely on passing traffic.

At an exhibition or trade show, what attracts people to a stand?

The busiest stands are usually those where the staff are approachable, happy, fun and friendly. Don’t forget that meeting someone face-to-face is always the best way to sell.

What advice do you have in dealing with customers? For example, how do you deal with multiple customers who approach your stand?

Put yourselves in their shoes and think how they would expect to be treated when visiting your stand. How would they expect to be greeted and what would they expect to see?

Busy stands attract more people. They want to see what’s attracting all the attention. This is great – but people soon get bored in a queue and move on. If you don’t have business partners to help talk to everyone, talk to the group of customers as a whole.

Are first impressions important?

Customers will always be observing you. To make a purchase, they will be rapidly forming opinions about you and your product, how you behave on your stand and how you engage with them. It’s an old adage but people really do buy people.

How do you approach exhibiting at Foremarke?

We focus on what we want to achieve and come up with a simple 5-step plan. We set a target for what we want to achieve and measure results against it. We keep our message very simple and speak about three clear and easily understandable points about our products.

How do our entrepreneurs guarantee that customers stop and buy from them?

Do not expect people to stop and talk to you. People have been taught from a young age not to talk to strangers. It’s ingrained in them. You will be fighting against this. You have only three or four seconds to stop people and get their attention. If there’s one thing we suggest you focus on, it’s asking open questions.

Make it fun. Make yourself approachable. Not only will it be more enjoyable for you, people will want to stop and talk. Remember – products rarely sell themselves. You need people to buy you!


Thank you Julian from us all at the Children’s Business Fair.

To find out more about Julian’s business, Foremarke, click here.