Archive | April, 2010

Are You Really Listening? 6 Trade Show Booth Staff Habits to Avoid

We’ve all been given two ears and one mouth. The question is, “do your people know how to use them in a 2:1 ratio on the tradeshow floor?”

Here are six habits that really upset visitors to your booth.  They all let visitors know that your company representative isn’t really listening to them:

1.  Doing all the talking.

2.  Interrupting when another person is talking.

3.  Never looking at the person talking.

4.  Playing with something in your hands or jangling coins in your pocket.

5.  Keeping a poker face so visitors don’t know whether you understand them.

6.  Being too serious and never smiling.

Change habits takes practice and time.  Awareness is the initial stage.  This is opportunity for your team members to help each other.

Seek help to find out what listening habits you are unaware of, and what you need to do to overcome them to be more effective.

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3 Ways to Overcome the Price Objection On the Trade Show Floor

“Our products cost so much more than our competitors. How in the world do we convince attendees to check us out, when everyone’s so focused on the bottom line?”

The question could come from any industry, and it’s becoming increasingly common as a tightening economy makes buyers more price-conscious. However, the company that lives by price also dies by price. Savvy exhibitors know that to appeal in this type of market, it’s critical to highlight aspects of their products and services that are more important than money.

The three most pivotal factors are:

1. Speed

Can you be, as Seth Godin puts it, overwhelming faster than the alternatives?  The speed with which your organization can fill orders, deliver product, and take care of customers is a critical differentiating factor.  Customers are starved for time: no matter what industry you’re in, turnaround times are shorter than they’ve ever been.  You can stand out from the crowd by being the fastest.

2. Spirit

Genuine enthusiasm and conviction that your products and services are the absolute best choice for the customer are powerful selling tools, especially in the face-to-face environment of the tradeshow.  If you can concisely and articulately convey why your products are worth more, without apologizing, price becomes a non-issue.

3. Style

There are trends in everything: in the B2B world, in manufacturing, in retail.  Can your organization position itself as the trendy choice?  Buyers are influenced by what their colleagues and peers think: no one wants to choose a loser.  Consider what you can do to secure a position as the ‘obvious’ right choice, or even better, ‘the best’ company to buy from.  Then, once again, price becomes a secondary consideration.


“Sinister Six” Body Language Habits: How Many Do Your Tradeshow Staffers Have?

How many of your booth staffers realize that the most important message they send is communicated without a single word being spoken? Body language is a critically important element of communication. The way we hold ourselves, from posture to hand position and our proximity to our peers can determine how successful we’ll be as exhibitors.

Here’s a quick checklist. How many of the following “Sinister Six” body language habits do your staffers have?

1.    Crossed Arms of Doom: Arms rigidly locked over the chest, a clear non-verbal cue that the arms’ owner doesn’t want to do any talking!
2.    Look at my Shoes!  Attention fixed on the carpet makes it easy to avoid meeting attendee’s eyes.
3.    Jiggle, jiggle, jingle: We’re not sure what’s so interesting in your pockets — but we really hope it’s change!  A signal of anxiety, nervousness, and poor stress management — not likely to inspire confidence in a prospect!
4.    I hope this table’s really strong: If you’re so tired that the table has to hold you up, you’re clearly too exhausted to talk to attendees.  Don’t lean on the furniture!
5.    Dance fever: Hopping from foot to foot, shuffling nervously, this little anxiety inspired jig makes us want to give you directions to the restroom — not our business.
6.    The classic fig leaf: It’s okay — you’re wearing pants.  You don’t need to ‘cover yourself’ from prying eyes!