The trade show floor offers a prime opportunity to meet a prospective client and sell – all within the confines of the convention hall. The selling process, therefore, may be quite different from the one your sales teams utilizes in their everyday lives. No voicemails, conference calls, scheduled meetings, e-mails. On the show floor, you can provide (and receive) personal attention, often shortening the sales process. A month prior to the show, it is a great idea to sit down and walk through the plan for selling at your next show. Role-playing will give your show staff the chance to understand the flow from one step to the next, providing practice which will make them more comfortable come show time.
Utilize the 5 step process of the exhibit rendezvous- Engage, Qualify, Discover, Present and Close.
#1 – Meet & Engage. A warm welcome allows for introductions. Should only take a minute or two.
#2 – Qualify the Prospect. With a few precise questions, you can identify if they/they’re organization would be a good fit for your product and/or service offerings.
#3 – Dig Deeper & Discover. Once you have qualified them, give them the floor to share their wants, needs, and challenges. Ask leading questions to dig deeper into their pain points to get to the bottom of the story. With an opportunity to be face-to-face, you also get to see their facial expressions, which can offer even more insight.
#4 – Present. Based on your open conversation, you should have a clear grasp on who they are and what they need. Now is the time to present your solution, specifically tailoring your pitch to address their specific wants and needs.
#5 – Close. While the goal is to shake hands on a sold deal, it may not always be possible. Round out your conversation with specific follow-up and action items, as well as a timeline. Keeping detailed notes on this will provide you with the information you need to ensure timely and accurate follow up, moving this further into the “SOLD” category.
Being able to meet, listen, share, and sell all in one sitting gives trade shows a leg up on traditional selling. The in person nature encourages accelerated conversations, and if your team is equipped with the right questions to ask and the plan to follow, you will see a shorter sales process and an increased Return on Investment (ROI).
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 12 month old son.