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Turn Trade Show Meetings into Successful Sales

Trade Shows can be lead generating events par excellence that provide you with a raft of new sales opportunities.   Meeting customers face-to-face, including key decision makers from companies you want to do business with can yield high returns on investment.

Data from the Centre for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) shows that:

Businessman using binoculars, money reflected in the lens

  • On average, 76% of attendees ask for quotes
  • 26% sign purchase orders
  • 72% say the show influences their purchase decisions

If you are looking to increase your chances of securing sales from your trade show presence and activities, here are a few pointers that can help:

Work your contacts like crazy – don’t just leave it to the actual event to book appointments with prospects and clients, start reaching out to your audience weeks before the big date in your diary.

Work your social media accounts like crazy – to make the most of your presence, you need to actually let people know you’re there.  Provide rich unique social media content (blogs, YouTube videos, behind-the-scenes photos and status updates) before, during and after the event.

Get up on the stage – book a speaker’s slot for a highly informative presentation that fills your audience with valuable knowledge that answers their needs.  Coming across as knowledgeable will boost your standing which should lead to more interest into what you do.  Don’t disguise this as a sales seminar.  If you pitch stuff from the stage, that full house in front of you will turn into rows of empty chairs.

Provide great content at your booth – there are hundreds of exhibitors like you trying to grab the attention of passers-by.  Therefore, think about ways you can stand out from the rest.  Perhaps you could have videos of case studies or other product-related content at your booth.  The more interesting the better to make attendees stop and watch.

Bring your best lead generators – invite your top sales reps to the event and watch them fly.

Book a room or set aside a mini-conference area behind your booth – trade shows are incredibly busy and noisy events.  To really engage with prospects and answer their questions, you need to limit the distractions.

Don’t hide behind your booth – many companies are far too passive at trade shows, waiting for passers-by to come and see them.  You have paid a lot of money to be there so make it worth your while by getting off your chair and actively engaging people around your booth.

Having said that, you don’t need a booth to make a tradeshow work for you.  For small businesses and start-ups the cost of a booth can be prohibitive so you will need to cold approach people instead.  This is not easy, but the key is just to be natural and yourself.   Don’t just launch into your elevator pitch.  Start with small talk and the conversation will naturally flow from there.

Follow-up quickly on leads – you’ve worked hard to approach people, and some of them have shown interest in what you do.  Follow-up with prospects as soon as the show ends, or before.  A study by Exhibitor Media Group revealed that 98% of exhibitors collect sales leads at trade shows, but less than 70% have any formalised plan to follow-up those leads.  Don’t squander opportunity!

Business Boosters

No matter what business you’re in, trade shows provide you with instant access to your audience, the starting point for long-term fruitful relationships.  Choose the right shows, plan well and staff them with your best people and you will increase your chances of receiving a stellar boost to your business. To boost your chances further, explore the possibility of trade show selling training.

We have an excellent resource for how to get the most out of trade shows in our free eBook, “Selling at Tradeshows – 8 tips, techniques & tools for selling at trade shows, exhibitions and events”

Download selling at Trade Shows eBook

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