In part one of this series I mentioned that a successful trade show plan has 3 phases; what you do before the event, during the event and after the event. The work you do before should make your work at the trade show easier. Preparation will assure you can meet the prospects and customers you planned to meet, attract people to your booth, ask good questions and have time to walk the show.
During the Show
Spend your time during the show doing 4 things:
- Attending prearranged meetings
- Attracting people to your booth
- Asking good questions and listening to build relationships
- Walking the show to look at the other exhibitors to learn
Make sure you find a good place for those prearranged meetings. At the booth you will have interruptions. Many trade shows provide a quieter meeting space with coffee and snacks. Some companies arrange for a suite to greet their customers. If you do have to meet at the booth, try to find a quiet corner and ask a colleague to handle the traffic while you tend to your meeting.
Attracting people to your booth should be easy if you have done your pre-work. At least some of the attendees will have received something from you encouraging them to stop by your booth. Your booth itself will be set up in a way that attracts those passing by and your friendly smile and greeting will attract people as well.
Once they are in your booth it is most important to ask good questions and learn about the prospect. Develop as much of a relationship with them as you can in the short time you have. The object is to get to a point where they will take your call after the trade show willingly. So the best thing is to ask the questions that get them talking about their problems as they relate to the type of solution you provide.
You don’t need to sell at the trade show: You need to learn. If the prospect feels you have listened and offered a good tip or two then you have earned the right to ask if you can schedule an appointment to call them in a few days.
Walk the Show
It is very important to work your booth well and try to qualify leads and it is equally important to walk the show and see the other exhibitors, pick up their cards and think about whether you could in some way collaborate with them, develop them as a referral source, or do business directly with them. You will also find lots of great ideas and get to see what your competitors are up to. You should plan to follow up with the other exhibitors you meet as well as the people who visit your booth.
Doing all of these things during the show will help insure your success. In part 3 of this series on Oct. 23rd, I will give you tips on what to do after the trade show so that you get great results from the time and money spent.
I hope you have learned a few things that you will use to plan your next trade show. If you would like more great information on sales, please subscribe to my blog. If you are facing any obstacles in your business with regards to sales, I welcome your questions. Please contact me at 775-852-5020.