APPROACHING AN ATTENDEEE / PROSPECT:
My mom always reminded me “First impressions are lasting impressions!” She never worked a trade show booth in her life, but she sure knew what she was talking about. The first impression meeting the prospect (guest) in your booth starts with the approach. It’s the first step of the sale. The folks at the infamous Dale Carnegie Sales Course refer to this as “The Attention Step” and just like Mom implied, it is very important to make that good impression within the first few minutes of approaching the guest.
As simple as it may sound, one of the most powerful things a company can do to change the effect and success of an exhibit is to have the booth personnel stop referring to people as prospects, attendees or leads and start calling them your guests.
1, Develop an open-ended opening line: "Thanks for visiting our exhibit. What prompted your interest in our products/services?"
Never say "Can I help you?" — It prompts a response of "No thanks, I'm just looking.'”
The key here is to get your guest talking about their needs by asking open-ended, smart questions.
2. Ask yourself, "What's our hook? Our most interesting story to tell?" Communicate this quickly to your guest by staying focused on your message and its relevance and importance to your prospect. If your guest only remembers one thing about your company, what do you want that to be?
3. Develop a list of questions that bear on a need. Like a good lawyer, that KNOWS the answer to the question BEFORE it’s ask, your questions have an answer already planned. The questions are well thought out, and rehearsed over and over. You will need a “repertoire” of these questions that the answer is the solution your product of service fulfills. This is a good exercise that I highly recommend. You’ll find these questions helpful on and off the show floor. You’ll find yourself using these questions every day on the phone or face to face with prospects.
4. Questions? How important are they? I’ll answer that question with a question: When you come in late, very late, and you’re tip-toeing into to the house (as not to wake up anyone) and your “better half” surprises you and asks the question “Where have you been?” I’ll ask you, who is in control of this conversation? The answer is obvious; whoever asks the most questions is in control of the conversation! To stay in control of the conversation, the “repertoire” of questions, (both opened and closed) as mentioned above becomes your arsenal that helps you direct the conversation down the sales path.
5. Be properly aggressive -- make eye contact, smile and engage every guest who enters your booth or approaches your area. DO NOT walk out into the aisle and "pull" people into your booth. This is perceived as annoying, pushy and unprofessional. Approach the guest; ask the questions that connect you on friendly, open terms.
Now we can go to the next step. We’ll be asking even more questions. But before we do, how's your list of questions coming, Counselor?
NEXT…… Qualifying Prospects
PS Large and small companies are finding the Shabang Exhibits website a good resource for information in planning a successful trade show. Check out the Trade Show Tips at: