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Greeting Show Attendees

Trade shows are excellent venues for meeting new prospects.  Consumers value trust higher than price, meeting you face to face in a non-threatening trade show environment is preferred by most consumers.  Plus, show attendees paid an entrance fee to attend, so they are already qualified prospects; but how you greet them will make or break your relationship.

First some rules.

  1. Do not eat in your booth
  2. Always smile
  3. Look professional at all times

It is sometimes difficult to avoid breaking the first rule, but even if you are working your booth alone, greeting people while chomping on a sandwich will turn people off.  Standing for hours on end is hard work.  Your feet will hurt, you back will ache, and you are going to hear a lot of rejections, but under no circumstances should you be unhappy.  Prospects don’t want your problems, they want your solutions.

What is your opening line?  “How are you doing?” is not a very good greeting.  Get to the point, “are you in the marketing for {fill in the blank} at this time or will you be considering {fill in the blank} in the near future?”  People attend trade shows to get information and find products or services, very few people walk up and down the aisles of a show just for the exercise.  Trying to trick them in to stopping and talking insults people and wastes your time.

Script your questions.  You get paid for the information you gather, not the information you give.  Don’t recite the encyclopedia, asked the prospect questions that elicit a response that either advances the sale or disqualifies the prospect.  You need to have an easy to use data capturing method.  When you ask a question, make a note.  While this might surprise the prospect at first, when it comes time to set an appointment to further the sales process the prospect will appreciate your preparedness.

Make sure everyone on your booth staff asks the same questions.  Without consistency in the questions, you will not have any basis for making improvements.

Booths don’t sell, people do.  Put another way, people don’t buy from your trade show booth, they do business with you.  Let your trade show booth answer the big questions, who are you and what do you do (in as few words as possible).  Let your questions qualify the prospect for advancement to the next step; a post show meeting.

The trade show meeting is the beginning of your relationship with the client (even if you sell something in your booth).  You can be certain the moment the prospect walks away from your booth they have forgotten you.  It is your job have memory of the meeting and it is your job to follow up with the prospect immediately after the show.

Ed Bejarana

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