In a lot of cases, companies will send junior sales people to trade shows. Over the years, I have seen these babes in the woods make many rookie mistakes. While it is essential for new sales people to get live prospect exposure, it is also important for them to have superb mentoring. Make sure your trade show booth is staffed with the right mixture of your top sales people and your hottest newcomers. Tradeshows are not cheap and squeezing an ROI out of a show seems to be getting harder year after year. This makes it that much more important to seize every opportunity that is presented to you on the road. Here are some rookie mistakes I have seen time and again on the floors of a tradeshow.
Get out of the booth: Nothing irritates me more than seeing 2 or 3 people sitting in a booth all staring down at their phone screens. If your booth seems to have energy more people will be drawn to it. He is a simple trick. Stand on the outside of your booth and cause a log jam. It is easier to engage people when a table does not separate you. If you have 2 or 3 sales people talking to prospects in front of the booth, it will slow down traffic in front of your booth and a crowd will form. This will build excitement and curiosity about your product.
The cocktail hour is for attendees, not exhibitors: I remember a Direct Marketing Association show a few years back where the entire booth staff for one company was totally intoxicated. They were slurring their speech, unsteady on their feet and rude to prospects. They thought in their drunken stupor they were the cool kids. Everyone around them viewed them as donkeys. Making things more interesting the woman in the booth next to them called their company and asked for HR.
During your downtime sell the other attendees: When the show goes quiet during informational sessions this is your chance to strike. Not only is this an excellent time to get competitive information but a superb time to sell and network. When I was selling marketing products, one of the most successful shows in the company’s history was one where we closed ten exhibitor sales during the show.
I am not saying the three above practices will guarantee you show success, but they are a great place to start.