One of the keys to trade show success is the training of your booth staff. Each trade show requires a specific marketing message targeted to a unique prospect and an exhibiting staff that can communicate with that audience. In order to take advantage of your trade show appearance, it is crucial to have a knowledgeable, qualified and highly trained sales staff at your trade show booth.
Before the trade show, rehearsals and training sessions for your exhibiting staff are essential to maximize the leads and visitor sales potential at a trade show.
Here are the basic tips for grooming your exhibit staff:
1. Hire an exhibit staff trainer before the trade show
2. Have a trainer in the booth to set up procedures and monitor booth activity
3. Provide incentives (to stimulate tradeshow booth traffic, give a gift coupon out every hour)
4. Be good custodians of your (and your visitors') time. Proactive learning on how to engage and courteously dismiss visitors in a professional manner is critical
5. Staff the tradeshow booth with personnel who match up well with prospects – i. e. , engineers from your firm if prospects are engineers, etc.
There are basic “do’s” that attract attention:
1. Have a warm smile and a welcoming persona
2. Enthusiastic behavior - have direct eye contact, confront prospects by greeting, then engaging, and, finally, qualifying them
3. Be professional and courteous, have authority and a solid knowledge about your product or service
4. Treat visitors as they are your guests-same as you do at your company or in your home
5. Demonstrate a receptive body language - have your arms under control and your posture erect. Be proactive.
6. Trade Show Booth housekeeping-–maintain a neat, clean and tidy appearance at all times
7. Your name badge should be on the right side of your body so when you shake hands people see it clearly.
Here are some “don'ts” in your trade show booth:
1. Do not eat, drink or chew gum
2. Do not make or accept phone calls (leave the tradeshow booth to make calls)
3. Do not sit - (except in conference area of your tradeshow display to conduct client business)
4. Show up on time - Do not show up late. Be considerate of your booth mates
5. Never leave the tradeshow exhibit unattended
6. Don't visit socially in the tradeshow booth with your co-workers or neighboring booth staffers
Engage visitors with effective sales techniques and tactics:
1. Greet and engage prospect or client (30 seconds)
2. Probe prospect with questions memorized from a lead sheet - who, what, why, when, where- to determine their requirements and their timing. This is the positioning and pre-qualifying stage - (1 1/2 - 2 minutes)
3. Determine if the tradeshow prospect is qualified or not. If not, professionally dismiss them.
4. If they are qualified - go into a demonstration, lead to deeper dialogue, answer questions, present details on services/products (up to 5 minutes)
5. Get permission to proceed or get deeper into subject or schedule further dialogue
6. Wrap up - inform them of where you go from here. Move toward the future appointment or sale. Set a time to reconnect. Swipe badge or get their business card. Plan to follow up by sending materials to their office so that the package is there when they return to their desk immediately after the trade show.
Dick Wheeler is President of Professional Exhibits & Graphics headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. The firm is a full-service premiere trade show exhibit, graphics and management services company. Go to http://www.proexhibits.com