How to sell at a trade show with pre-set expectations from your company’s leaders is daunting. When you return from an elaborate, expensive, multi-day trade show, your management may expect that you have:
- Made a sale or multiple sales.
- Set up a prospect meeting.
- Collected a list of contacts.
So, how do you prepare for a trade show, use your trade show booth, utilize other tools or materials you’ve been given, and return to work with a list of successes and minimal failures? This is easy to accomplish if you stick to these simple trade show sales tips.
Tips For Selling at Trade Shows
Remain Calm (and Human!) At Your Trade Show Booth
The most important rule during your trade show attendance is to be your most natural self. If you elicit a fake persona, or sound too ‘sales-y,’ chances are the people who approach your booth will find you unapproachable. Be kind, generous, curious, and human.
Know Your Audience: Research Your Trade Show Attendees
It is quite incredible how many details you can find online in terms of event research. Whether you are looking to build relationships with other trade show participants, or with the trade show attendees, you should plan on doing pre-trade-show research. Look at the Eventbrite lists to see who is attending and from which companies. RSVP lists are also available online at most trade shows. Educate yourself prior to attending and learn more about your future partners, or perhaps, more about your competition.
Master Your Sales Pitch or Elevator Speech
The attention span of the individual human is at an all-time low. To sell at a trade show you must be quick. In fact, based on a 2018 report, the average human attention span is less than 9 seconds. With this being said, how can you grab the attention of attendees to stop by your booth?
Make sure you master your pitch or elevator speech by being genuine in your approach. Don’t start your interaction by delving into who your organization is or why you are there. You should be asking the individual what brings them to the trade show, or more specifically, to your booth.
Think about their answer for a second. Your speech would be much different when delivered to someone who happens to work or compete within your industry as opposed to someone who has never even heard of you before and might be a potential customer. This is why it is so crucial to craft your sales pitch for any and all kinds of audience members who stop by your trade show booth.
Engagement First & Sales Second
This may be a redundant tip, but it complements nicely with tip #3 above. Be sure that you are engaging with your attendees first before you go in for the sales pitch. Rather than explaining what your company offers, figure out why that attendee is there or who the attendee is there with. Build your conversation on a foundation of trust and authenticity. Engagement is key and the sale comes second.
Develop A Privacy Space within Your Trade Booth’s Display
Say you’ve taken our advice above and you’ve built a wonderful conversation base with a potential customer. But, you’re surrounded by excess noise and bustle of the trade show. You know you’re about to make a sale, but feel distracted. What do you do?
To sell on the noisy trade show floor, try incorporating a privacy booth within your booth. Get to know your attendees better within a more intimate setting. This is especially great for attendees you feel confident in and sense the potential to make the sale. Ensure that potential customer feels special, needed, and cared for by spending one-on-one time with them in your trade show booth.
Make Sure Your Attendees Take Action
What are the next steps you want attendees to take after they’ve met and engaged with you? After being authentic, building a relationship, and getting the attendee eager to move forward with your brand, what should be your next action plan? You need to figure that out before attending the trade show.
At the beginning of this blog, we discussed example expectations your supervisor might have of you when you return from a trade show. Those expectations are met by having a customer or attendee take an action at your trade show booth prior to bidding farewell. Here are three examples to consider.
Trade Booth Call-To-Action Examples
Collect Your Contacts, Wisely
Are you speaking with people who are eager to learn more about your brand? Get them hooked on your brand’s trends or industry chatter by encouraging attendees to sign up for your newsletter for more information. Perhaps you have an interactive feature at your booth where attendees can automatically sign-up on the spot! Gathering contacts in the moment can build out your email blast list for the future.
Offer Discounts and Incentives
Do you sense purchase intent with your attendee’s conversation flow? A fun trick to try at trade shows is offering exclusive discounts, sales, or insights to attendees who might be interested in making an on-the-spot purchase. Lock down your sale by incentivizing a discount, or other free collateral that can be included in their purchase, if they purchase during the trade show.
Set Future One-On-One Meetings
Maybe your intention of attending a trade show isn’t to make a sale, but to delve deeper into a service you offer which may include a longer sales cycle or buying process. Set meetings with attendees who show promise or initiative in learning more about your service offerings. Continuing the conversation beyond your trade show is key, and setting one-on-one face-time with future, potential customers will emanate your authenticity and commitment even more. At the end of the day, building a solid relationship with a potential customer only holds promise for a profitable future.
Now that you’ve reviewed some of our trade show selling tips, hopefully, you can attend your next trade show with the utmost confidence and perseverance to make your sell goals happen at the trade show floor.