Fishing for Leads In-Show
Exhibiting at a trade show is a lot like fishing. First you want to lure the fish (attendees) with some bait (giveaways or a presentation), than you want to hook them (with your business pitch) and pull them onto your boat (add them to your clientele). To help you catch customers, you need to understand what they are looking for and why. Do they need a new product or service to expand their business? Or are they simply looking to replace their current supplier?
When meeting visitors for the first time, avoid a generic greeting they will hear from every other booth on the block. Instead, welcome them into your company’s environment, or try an open-ended question to assess their business needs. This will show you’re open to listening to your customers, and help you determine whether or not they are worth your time. If a visitor seems disinterested, or is trolling around looking for free swag or literature, it’s not wise to waste your time or best sales pitch. Once you have a worthwhile attendee engaged in conversation, here are a few tips to help your dialogue shine:
- Keep it short and simple. Attendees spend the whole day listening to people talk, so don’t be the one to wear out their patience
- Listen to what each person says so you can address individual issues and offer solutions
- Let visitors know you follow through in dealing with clients’ problems and needs by citing a concrete example they can relate to
- Ask for a business card, and than use it to take notes about the person
- Maintain steady eye contact to convey interest and friendliness
- Smile! It may sound simple, but the visitor will feel welcome and it will make you more enthusiastic
- Avoid being aggressive by entering attendees’ personal space, maintain at least an arm’s length between you and them
- Make sure to gather as much information as possible about the lead (see Pt. 1 of this article for ideas)
Always end every worthwhile conversation with a firm handshake and a brochure and/or gift. The brochure should reinforce everything you told the visitor, and the gift should be something they will use on a daily basis. This will keep your company and your pitch in attendees’ thoughts long after your meeting has finished.
On a side note, it is important that both you and your staff have adequate break times during shows. You want to sound fresh and excited to each and everyone you meet. Remember that confidence is key. If you believe in your company, than so will they.
This series will conclude on Friday with follow up techniques and tricks.