Listening to Attendees at Trade ShowsCreating a successful trade show display is only half the battle when it comes to effective trade show exhibiting. Keeping the attendees interested in what you have to offer is the other half. Knowing how to talk and listen to your booth visitors is the key in making them feel welcome and as if you and your staff truly care about their needs. Susan Friedmann, The Tradeshow Coach, offers several very useful tips to getting the sale just by listening to what your customers want.

Listen, Listen, Listen

It is crucial that you are listening to what your booth visitors want instead of offering them products that they will have no use for. The attendees need to feel as though you sincerely care about offering a solution to their problem with one of your products or services. By not offering an ear, you will most likely lose the sale.

Open-Ended Questions

Closed questions are concluded with simple yes or no answers. You want to steer away from these kinds of questions. Invite the attendees to tell you a little more about themselves by asking open-ended questions. What do you do? How do you handle this situation? What do you think about this? These are all open-ended questions that will keep the conversation going.

Related Questions

Show the booth visitors that you are truly listening by asking questions that pertain to what they just told you. Failing to do so may result in losing any credibility you may have gained with this potential customer. Friedmann recommends role-playing exercises until your booth staff is completely confident in asking the right questions.

A Little Small Talk Goes a Long Way

At some point in the conversation, you will obviously want to close the sale. But that point doesn t need to be at the beginning of your discussion. In fact, it may be more effective to start talking about something irrelevant to your sales pitch. Find out more about these potential clients, such as where they are from and what hobbies they enjoy. Don t be afraid to compliment the attendees on their jewelry, clothes, shoes, etc. A little small talk will essentially build a relationship between you and this lead.

The bottom line is that if you don t know how to talk to the attendees, your trade show efforts will be lost. Your entire conversation shouldn t be just based on the sale, but should help build a relationship that will last long after the convention is over. You are sure to gain loyal customers with this approach. If there is one thing that pushes attendees away, it is a sales person that is too pushy. These sales people are more concerned about the short-term result of getting the sale instead of looking at the bigger picture and focusing on building long-lasting relationships.

If you follow these tips, you may get the sale at the show or you may not. However, there is a good chance the individuals you had the opportunity to talk to will feel comfortable purchasing your products or services when they are ready to buy.


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