You have spend multiple months planning and preparing for your upcoming trade show, from designing stunning trade show displays to thoroughly training your staff to ordering the perfect giveaway items. However, on the day of the show, you aren t closing as many sales as you would like. What could have gone wrong? Here are some ways to make your trade show experience more lucrative.

  • Approach the Attendees: In a perfect world interested buyers would come up to us and make a sale. In most scenarios, thats not the case. There are hundreds of trade show exhibits under one roof, some of which are your competitors. Attendees need to be persuaded as to why they should do business with you. Don t be afraid to walk the aisles and approach them to see if your products or services would be a good fit for their needs. If they are browsing your trade show booth, you or your staff should approach them within a minute. Waiting any longer and they may have already lost interest and are ready to move on to the next display booth.
  • Be a Good Listener, Not a Talker: The only topic that will hold the short attention span of attendees is themselves. Give them the opportunity to talk about what brought them to your trade show exhibit in the first place. The more information you can get from them, the easier it will be to recommend a product or service that will help. Remember the 80/20 rule listen 80% of the time and talk 20% of the time. Ask a series of open-ended questions to find out what they are looking for and how you can solve the problem.
  • Keep it Professional: The look of your convention booths and staff says a lot about your company. If your display system appears messy and your staff is wearing jeans and t-shirts, it could reflect poorly on your business. Keep your trade show exhibit organized by using literature stands to display any brochures or business cards you have, and shelves for a professional way of showing off a product or two without taking up too much space. It depends entirely on the convention and your theme, but business casual is usually the perfect attire for your staff. Dress slacks or skirts, button-down shirts, and nice (but comfortable) shoes are good choices.
  • Use Lead Forms: Lead forms are an excellent way of keeping all prospective buyers information organized and easy to read. These forms should include:
    • Name
    • Phone number
    • Email address
    • Address
    • Position in their company
    If the right questions were asked, it should be easy to see which leads are extremely interested and which ones aren t. Keep track by using a grading system; one example is: A = hot lead; B = warm lead; C = cold lead. Put A, B, or C in big letters at the top of each form to easily tell which ones you should follow up with first.
  • Don t Be Afraid to Ask For a Commitment: You spent time talking to them and they have clearly shown an interest in what your company has to offer. Why not take it a step further and set up appointments outside of the event to further discuss your products or services. As I mentioned before, the attendees should be doing most of the talking at trade shows. However, by meeting them one-on-one outside of the event, you can do most of the talking and persuade them as to why they should be doing business with you.
Attendees have extremely short attention spans, so engage them right away, listen, and make sure to get the contact information to follow up with them after the event. Take these tips into consideration and you are sure to increase your sales.