Archive | June, 2010

The Ultimate Trade Show Lead: 4 Keys to Exhibiting Success

Do your booth staffers know what information they need to collect for a quality lead?
How do you define a quality lead?

Yesterday, in a brilliant webinar, (sponsored by iLeads and Leadature), “Trade Show Follow-up: The Ultimate Competitive Edge,” Joyce McKee, President, Let’s Talk Tradeshows, talked about the “sales-ready” trade show lead. As usual our thinking is so very similar, and the following is an elaboration of the four keys Joyce discussed so aptly:

1. Involve sales management
Right from the beginning sales management needs to be involved in what actually they feel constitutes the “best” trade show lead. So set the stage and arrange a meeting to discuss this crucial aspect of your exhibiting.  Unfortunately, too many sales managers assume their team know what information to collect.  As we know, ass-u-me (making an “ass of u and me”) is a very dangerous word!

2. Define the “ultimate” sales lead
Clarifying what exactly constitutes a best sales lead possible takes time and forethought. It should be much more than the usual basic information.  Since there may be several opinions as to what is the most crucial information, I suggest you brainstorm all possible information your sales reps need to make a final sale (this will probably differ for different products/services you sell).  Then prioritize your ideas and take the top ten.

3. Create the script
The script is not necessarily a word for word text, rather a list of powerful questions that your team need to ask, so they gather the best possible information they need from the prospect.  Once again, this takes time to create the right approach.

In my trade show training workshops, I recommend the sales team develops a questioning “toolbox,” which contains many different types of questions depending on what type of information they need.  Since the object is to conduct a meaningful conversation with their visitor, they probably won’t be using the same questions over and over again. Rather, when they need a “spanner” question, they pull that one out of their toolbox. They won’t want to use a “hammer” question when they need a “spanner.” For example, they wouldn’t ask “What budgetary constraints are you currently experiencing?” when they should be asking “What are your top buying criteria for “x” product?”

4. Get buy-in
Once you’ve defined the ultimate lead, and written a script, the next step is to get the input, and complete buy-in from the sales  team.  Don’t just tell them what to do, rather have them make their suggestions for improvement, and what they feel comfortable with. In the end, sales people want great leads to follow up, which then generates the ultimate goal – to make sales to increase the bottom-line.

For that to successfully take place , everyone has to be on board – motivated to help make the end result happen.

Susan Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, internationally recognized exhibit marketing expert working with companies to increase their profitability at trade shows. Author: “Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market,” “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Target Marketing,” “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies” and many other titles. For more great information on trade show marketing strategies that work, and for a complimentary copy of “Exhibiting Success,” visit http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com. Click to download the “Riches in Niches” app.

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How to Tune into the Most Popular Tradeshow Radio Station: 3 Steps to Pump Up Your Success Volume

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WII-fm plays everywhere all the time, but on the tradeshow floor listenership is at its peak. WII-fm, better known as “What’s In It for me,” resonates loud and clear among tradeshow attendees as they walk up and down the aisles, attend educational sessions, and networking events.

The Problem:
Most exhibitors only tune into their own WII-fm channel, which means they just think about themselves, their products/services. How do I know this? It’s blatantly obvious. Nine times out of ten, when I hear an exhibitor presentation, they can’t wait to shake hands, introduce themselves (that’s already a good exhibitor), and then launch into their verbal barrage (static) of what they have to offer, giving little, or no heed to whether or not a need exists.

The Solution:
The solution, like many things, is simple, but not easy.  Here are three steps to follow to help get rid of the static and pump up the success volume:
Step 1: Lower the volume on your WII-fm channel and tune into your prospect’s WII-fm channel.
Step 2: Ask questions to uncover needs, and discover what’s most important to your prospect.
Step 3: Listen to the answers (this is tough), then take this valuable information, and tailor it to fit your product/service presentation or demonstration.

To make sure this three-step volume pumping process works successfully, use some tradeshow booth staff training prior to the show as and integral part of your pre-show planning, and preparation. Your team, like actors on a stage, need preparation, and practice (learning how to listen), which means knowing what to do, and how to do it, to help guarantee successful results. Don’t assume they know!

Susan Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, internationally recognized exhibit marketing expert working with companies to increase their profitability at trade shows. Author: “Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market,” “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Target Marketing,” “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies” and many other titles. For more great information on trade show marketing strategies that work, and for a complimentary copy of “Exhibiting Success,” visit http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com. Click to download the “Riches in Niches” app.

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Do You “Think Different” on the Trade Show Floor? Part 2

In Part 1 I talked about three of the six senses or “right-brain directed aptitudes,” that Daniel Pink refers to in his best-selling book, “A Whole New Mind” – namely, design, story, and symphony.

This week I’ll share information about the other three senses, empathy, play, and meaning, and how these relate to your trade show experience.

Empathy - the skill to understand and be able to put yourself in the position of your prospect, or customer – something so key on the trade show floor.  How often do your sales staff take the time or energy to truly understand the prospect’s situation? The more in tune they are with the other person, the easier it is to naturally adjust the conversation, and focus on what’s most important to them.

Play is about having fun.  How often does that get forgotten in business? How about on trade show floor?  To most people, the word “show”  means some form of entertainment. However, it’s very rare that I walk away from a booth feeling that people are having fun and enjoying what they do. Where is it written that doing business at a show has to be serious?

Meaning is about expression. It’s an opportunity to make a difference.  Your people can make or break relationships on the show floor. Do they make a difference? Are they proud company representatives? Do they show the industry they care about their company, products/services?

According to Pink, “few things can be more rewarding than connecting with someone by teaching something new, or sharing that which you feel is very important with others.” How does your trade show team make out in the connections department? Where is their focus – is it on what you’re exhibiting, or is it on the visitor, and what’s most important to them?

Lots of questions, and lots of food for thought!

Listen to my latest session: “7 Quick-Start Keys to Niche Marketing Success”

Susan Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, internationally recognized exhibit marketing expert working with companies to increase their profitability at trade shows. Author: “Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market,” “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Target Marketing,” “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies” and many other titles. For more great information on trade show marketing strategies that work, and for a complimentary copy of “Exhibiting Success,” visit http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com. Click to download the “Riches in Niches” app.

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