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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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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Benefitting from a Regular Trade Show Workout: 3 Fitness Levels Every Exhibitor Must Practice

Spring is a time when we brush off the winter blahs and just feel the urge to be active. It’s a time when we wake up our body, mind and spirit.

The question is how often do you exercise your exhibiting muscles?
Do you have a regular workout designed to increase your trade show dexterity and boost results?

Whether you’re looking for strength training to increase your competitive edge, flexibility to improve your marketing strategy, or just general overall fitness, a regular workout program is a must.

Find your level of fitness training in the following:

Fitness Level 1 – You never or rarely stretch
Geared to the low risk-taker who always does the same thing at industry shows.  To increase your level of flexibility in the marketplace, try stretching your exhibiting muscles prior to your next trade show.  Be willing to take a risk and differentiate a little from your regular routine.

Strength component: Define exactly why you are exhibiting and what it is that you want to achieve through your trade show participation.

Aerobic component: Brainstorm possible ideas to get your major muscle groups working in a rhythmic fashion.  Consider giving your booth a face lift with new and exciting graphics.

Flexibility component: Use a theme to add some new blood to your trade show muscles to attract more activity into your exhibit.
Use this gentle routine regularly before each show to increase a sense of accomplishment and well-being, as well as decrease the risk of painful unproductive results.

Fitness Level 2 – You occasionally stretch most of the major muscle groups
Designed for exhibitors who want more of a challenging exhibiting workout to increase their market strength and flexibility.

Strength component: Building strength in your major muscle groups involves weight training and cardiovascular work.  You are making headway when upper management supports your program.

Aerobic component: The goal is to get your heart rate into the target zone and sustain that pace for an extended period.  This means directing your pre-show promotional workout to those people who you want to actively walk into your exhibit, find out about you and do business with you.

Flexibility component: An company’s range of motion will vary depending on its age, activity and structure.  Good news is that your degree of flexibility can always be increased.  Take time to explore what prospects want and like so that you can tailor your marketing activity accordingly.

Fitness Level 3 – You always stretch the major muscle groups
Designed for the serious exhibitor who wants to build marketing endurance, strength and muscle tone.

Strength component: Your people make up the strength and backbone of your exhibiting presence. They represent everything your company stands for, so select the best. Prepare them well beforehand.

Aerobic component: Public relations is one of the most successful ways to pump blood into your trade show activity.  Build media relations, prepare press kits, investigate speaking opportunities and consider sponsorship opportunities

Flexibility component: Reduce the possibility of sales injury and market muscle soreness with a flexible and timely lead-management plan.

No matter what your fitness level or exhibiting goals, your company will look and feel better when you regularly participate in an exhibiting workout program.

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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