As an exhibitor, potential customers will walk by your booth throughout the entire show. How do you get them to stop and talk to you? What makes someone want to take time to learn more about your company and its offerings?
Your perceived value is what ultimately intrigues someone to stop and speak with you. That value, however, is not always understood by those passing by on the trade show floor. The way you approach and engage attendees to showcase your value to them will directly impact what they think of you and your company, as well as the opportunity to conduct business together.
So, what do you say as someone is walking by your booth? As common as they are, you will want to avoid innocuous greetings like, "Can I help you?" "Hi, how are you?" "How's the show going?" These questions can be asked by anyone, anywhere, and they do not motivate anyone to stop and learn more.
The job of exhibitor is to begin or engage the attendee in conversation in a meaningful way. The way you greet a visitor to your booth shows your professionalism and willingness to help. You will want to ask direct, open-ended questions that engage the attendees while also helping you gauge their needs and interest in your company’s offerings.
“How are you presently working with product/service X?”
“What are you looking for in product/service X?”
“What challenges have you run into with your current product/service X?”
Your open-ended questions frame the conversation and set it up so that the attendee has the opportunity to share their interests, wants, needs, and plain points with you. And while what we SAY is important, how we LISTEN is just as – if not more – important! Don’t forget the 80/20 rule – listen 80% of the time and talk 20% of the time.
Of course, adding a personal touch to your greeting will warm up the introduction. Extending your hand for a handshake and using the person’s name (as shown on their badge) are great ways to initiate the connection and build a rapport.
So, the next time you find yourself on the trade show floor, do not let attendees walk by without stopping to see you. Reach out in a warm, friendly, and professional manner. Engage them with open-ended questions and patiently listen to their responses. Follow up with how your company can add value to their company, and you will be well on your way to your next sale.
Alison James, Event Marketer & Brand Enthusiast
Alison has been with Apple Rock for 12 years. She is not only an industry expert, but also an experienced brand ambassador for all her clients. When she is not working hard for her clients she is enjoying the thrills of parenthood, along with her husband, to their young son.