When you participate in a trade show, many types of people with different objectives will attend your booth. One of the most challenging aspects of running an exhibit and generating sales afterwards involves the qualification of prospects. Measuring the likelihood that a random lead will result in a purchase is important because your sales team does not have an infinite amount of time to do their job. Your sales people have a limited amount of time to follow-up on leads and wasting their day on a dead-end lead will squander your company's money.
There are a few steps you can take to ensure that your making the most of your company's resources. One of the first steps is to utilize a brand expert in your booth - this is a person with thorough knowledge about your company, its goals and products. Train your employees or booth attendants to possess this type of knowledge. Whether you hire talent or use your own sales people, make sure they know what their mission is - to generate and qualify more leads.
Never ignore anyone who comes to your booth. Even if someone looks like they aren't in the market to buy, you should still be polite and helpful. Someone who doesn't need your service may know a friend or colleague who does. Determining if your visitors are trying to educate themselves, make a purchase, or simply wander around, will help you to save time.
Remember the size of the company is not indicative of the amount of money they plan to spend.
The best way to determine the quality of a lead is to simply ask questions. Some good qualifying questions are:
- What do you like about what youv'e seen here in our booth today?
- How do our products compare to the products of your current supplier?
- How do you decide which suppliers to work with?
- What are your main objectives and goals?
- What are some challenges you have experienced today?
- Whaht information do you need to make a good decision?
- What is your primary concern when making a purchase?
- What specific prodcuts or services to you need?
- What do you think should be the next step?
Err on the side of subtlety when gathering all of this information. Try to formulate answers within your conversation vs. coming across like an interview. Answers to these questions will enable you to gain an understanding of their current situation and buying behavior based on their reponses.
This is the last stop on the train to a successful trade show outcome. Booth attendant knowledge and level of engagement is the most important aspect of the process. They must be able to exhibit the difference and value in your brand vs. your competition. Knowledge is power!