Simply setting up a booth at a trade show and expecting to achieve leads toward successful sales is a waste of time unless effort is put into attracting people to the booth, then engaging in meaningful discussion with them while there. The following are tips to assist you to persuade trade show attendees to stop at your booth and to remain long enough for you to get your message across.
1. Ask people what they need from you
When someone stops at your booth, they will have an interest in your business or your organization and will want to learn more. Discover what interests. Rather than explaining what your company does, ask them what they’re looking for. Listen carefully to their answers. Determine how best you can address their needs and explain to them clearly how you can do so, without any confusing or overly detailed industry jargon they may not understand. If it appears you cannot supply their needs, try finding a way in which you might be able to do so. You may come up with a solution that will work well, but which the inquirer had not considered.
2. Be personable in order to connect with the inquirer
Treat the person who approaches you as a friend or a neighbor rather than a potential client. Try to come across as someone that is relatable and welcoming. Above all, try to avoid coming across as a salesperson, desperate to sell your product or service at all costs. Try to come across rather as someone who is genuinely concerned about the inquirer’s needs and how you can be of assistance to that person.
3. Provide a sample or a demonstration of your service or product
To attract people to stop by your booth and talk to you, it helps to have a free sample relating to your product or service that you can hand to them. As you hand it to them, or as they take it from your booth, engage them in conversation by asking how they might use the product or what they think of it. A demonstration tends to attract trade show goers, too. Once you have a small group of people watching the demonstration, it encourages others to stop by, too.
4. Anticipate people’s questions
Consider what people might want to know about your product or service. They might wonder, for example, how well it works, how much it costs, or what it can achieve. Make sure that you know your product or service so well that you can answer any question immediately. The last thing you want is to look flustered when a question arises and you do not know the answer or have to consult someone else at the booth to ascertain it.
5. Keep products always on display
If you provide a number of different products or provide a variety of services, make sure that people passing by your booth will be able to see them. Some attendees might be looking for a specific product or service; if they do not see it at your booth, they will assume you do not provide it.
6. Invite people to interact with your products or displays
You might want attendees to try out a product that you offer; people can connect with interaction more so than what they hear or see. If such interaction is not possible because of the nature of your product or service, consider a brief quiz with a prize, a contest or similar tactic that will enable them to interact in some way with your product or service.
7. Build a booth with a theme
Relate your booth in some way with your business. It might be by using the colors on your logo, models or pictures of your product or service, or an attractive design. Above all, your booth should represent the nature of your business and look different from those around it. A booth for a bank, for example, clearly should look different from that of a business that provides clowns for children’s parties.
8. Look professional
Although casual dress is accepted in most workplaces, it always helps to dress respectfully when representing your company at a trade show, particularly if you have a business or service that provides professional services, such as financial consulting or legal services.
Dress up rather than down and prove to attendees you mean business!