Most companies today have websites, marketing brochures, and even direct mail packages that communicate the benefits of buying their products. These are proven channels for disseminating information that can lead to sales.
Trade shows are a completely unique selling opportunity. Not only is the interaction between the exhibitor and attendee face to face, but the event attracts a greater portion of targeted prospects and leads.
However, the challenge of selling on the trade show floor continues to elude new and experienced exhibitors. Today, I’ll give you 4 trade show ideas that you and your booth staff can use to sell to your exhibit visitors.
#1 – Approach, Engage, Qualify
A lot of exhibitors seem tentative when approaching people who visit their booths; it’s as if they’re afraid to bother them. But, attendees who come to your booth can always benefit from speaking with someone – either you or one of your employees – who can help them solve their problems. When people visit your booth, approach them immediately in a non-intimidating manner. Engage in a moment of friendly conversation so they’ll feel comfortable speaking with you. Then, subtly begin asking qualifying questions to uncover the problems that your products can help them resolve.
#2 – Leave Bully Sales Tactics At Home
Attendees don’t come to trade shows to hear off-putting sales pitches. More often than not, they’re looking for companies with whom they can partner to make their own processes more efficient, profitable, or reliable. If you use hard sale tactics on your booth visitors, you’ll give them the impression that you’re not thinking of their best interests. Nobody likes to be bullied into buying something. If you hard sell trade show attendees, they’ll be less likely to consider doing business with you in the future.
#3 – Be Willing To Disqualify
As important as qualifying leads is to your long-term sales success, being willing to disqualify prospects is just as valuable. This is one of the most important trade show ideas for selling to your visitors. Your time, and that of your booth employees, is limited. That means you must focus what little time you have on those visitors who are most likely to lead to future sales.
You and your staff should follow a predefined qualifying process with specific questions. When it becomes clear that a visitor is not a targeted prospect and is unlikely to lead to future business, politely disengage from the conversation. Invite them to continue looking through your exhibit and literature, but communicate that you need to help others.
#4 – Plant The Seed For Following Up
After you’ve qualified a lead and obtained their contact information, try to get their permission to get in touch after the trade show. Ideas for attracting trade show visitors, no matter how powerful, are limited by your willingness to follow up after the event. Some exhibitors don’t ask for their leads’ permission to contact them. But, doing so can cement the relationship you’ve established at your exhibit and prepare your leads to anticipate your call. It can be as simple as letting your visitors know that you’ll send them detailed product information in the mail.
Trade Show Ideas For Sales Success
Your success at trade shows will be largely defined by your sales efforts on the floor. It’s not enough to simple show up at the event, build your exhibit, and hope that visitors approach you and your staff to qualify themselves. You need to approach each person who comes to your booth without seeming intimidating. Initiate a conversation that makes your visitor feel comfortable. Ask about their needs and problems on the way to qualifying them as leads.
If it becomes clear that you won’t be able to help them, disengage. Otherwise, obtain their contact information and ask permission to get in touch after the event. These trade show ideas for selling to your booth visitors can pave the way for long-term sales success.
About the author:
Jonathan Edelman provides helpful advice about trade show strategies. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, follow up techniques, and using trade show marketing strategies to boost revenue.