Trade Shows are a great way to Reach Out to Your Audience
If you have invested time and money into taking space as an exhibitor at trade shows you will want to do everything you can to maximize the impact you make and generate as many worthwhile leads as you can.
From the moment you commit to renting a trade show booth, you will also need to be working on a strategy that outlines how you are going to attract people to your booth and engage with them so that you can build an initial rapport and exchange contact information.
Here are some of the key points to remember when it comes to making the most of your opportunity to develop some new business relationships.
Understand the Trade Shows Process
A fundamental point to keep in your mind is that a trade show environment is very different compared to a typical sales-orientated encounter that you might have elsewhere, such as at your premises or in a retail setting.
The big difference is that it is rare that you are going to close on a major deal at the trade show and that is not the purpose in any case. What a trade show is designed to achieve is bring together a collection of people under one roof who are all mainly associated with one particular industry and often share similar interests.
This means that people coming to your trade show booth should be interested in what you have to offer and what you have to say, but the specific purpose is networking and information gathering rather than buying, most of the time.
Trade shows represent an excellent opportunity to meet new prospects and start to develop a relationship with an exchange of details. If you pursue that strategy rather than attempting to close a sale you are more likely to get more leads, which could turn into sales after the event has finished and you follow up.
The Right People in the Booth
It should be remembered that the staff who are manning the booth are representing the business and if they are unenthusiastic or lack the product knowledge required that is not going to reflect well on your company.
If you want to ensure that you get the most out of your attendance at a trade show it is vital that you pick people who want to be there and have the right amount of technical know-how to be able to answer any questions that are put to them about your products or service.
It makes a massive difference when everyone is smiling and seems to happy to be there and help, so try to instill a sense of fun as well as professionalism and that should bode well for your lead generation prospects.
Efficiency Is Key
Traffic around your stand can often be heavy and it is good news that there are a lot of potential customers who are hanging around to talk to you, but that also means you have to be efficient and sometimes ruthless in qualifying leads within a short space of time.
You don’t want to spend 20 minutes talking to someone who is clearly a timewaster while other more valuable contacts walk away because there is no one available to talk to them.
Every encounter should really only last a maximum of five minutes. That is ample time to meet and greet, qualify them as a lead or a timewaster, and politely move them on if they are the latter, or take it a step further if they appear to a worthwhile prospect.
Develop a technique that allows you to qualify each person, often by asking a couple of pertinent questions, and then “close” by getting their contact details.
Even if you demonstrate your product to an interesting prospect, it should only take a total of five minutes from start to finish, and adopting these tactics should see you generate at least five decent leads every hour or so.
Trade show tip – What do you do to get rid of a timewaster?
Shake their hand, thank them for showing an interest and seek out eye contact with the next visitor.
Special Offers Always Work
You don’t have to try and reinvent the wheel when it comes to trying to generate sales leads and a tactic that is tried and tested is to offer a prize or run a special offer.
A prize draw is a brilliant way of getting a box full of business cards that you can work your way through after the show.
A special offer is also a proven strategy for drawing people in as most of us love the idea of a bargain.
Your goal is to get trade show attendees to pause at your booth as they are walking down the line and special offers are a great way to do this.
We are all influenced by body language to a certain extent and even if you have an amazing display and your booth is attractively put together this will count for little if the body language of staff is sending off the wrong signals.
It is not rocket science. A friendly smile and good eye contact can make a world of difference and it will send a signal that you are positive about your business and enthusiastic about making new contacts.
Most of us will have gone past a stand where the person standing there has their arms folded, is looking down, or has a face that says they would rather be anywhere else.
The chances are high that you walked past that person in a hurry and had no intention of stopping with that sort of body language on display.
Think about how you are projecting yourself with your body language as this is something that can often say a lot more than words alone. If you can keep these key points and strategies in mind they can all contribute in a positive way to helping you make loads of new business contacts and boost your chances of enjoying a successful trade show event.
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