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.


3 Ways to Avoid Social Media Suicide On Or Off The Tradeshow Floor

A few weeks ago I watched on Twitter as a marketer committed social media suicide.

Within hours after someone tweeted about having a severe, nearly fatal allergic reaction, she received a marketing message from a company that sells non-allergenic products. So far, so good. The marketer had obviously set up a search on the appropriate term and used the information to reach out to a potential customer.

Unfortunately, the marketing message was poorly targeted and offensively presented. Not only was the recipient angry at the clumsy overture, she responded in such a way that everyone reading her tweetstream would become aware of the problem. The marketer garnered some bad publicity for his company.

Then, instead of apologizing, the marketer made a bad situation worse by defending his actions. The potential customer has now publicly vowed never to use the company’s products, and she has told a number of people about the problem. More bad publicity.

Three lessons from this marketing debacle:

1. Search terms are not enough.
If the marketer had actually read the tweet, he would have known enough about the situation to avoid offending a potential customer with mistaken assumptions. If you are selling cat toys, for example, don’t try marketing to someone who has tweeted either “I hate cats” or “My cat just died.” Either one is likely to be unproductive at best.

2. Social media messages are not ads, they are personal conversations.
The strategies that work well in a print or TV ad don’t work in door-to-door selling—and social media are much more akin to direct sales. Always remember that you’re talking to an individual on her own territory. Be respectful, friendly, and aware of her feelings.

3. When you’ve angered the customer, apologize.
Arguing with the customer’s reaction just makes matters worse. It’s okay to explain that you didn’t intend to be insensitive, but apologize sincerely for having caused offense. This leaves the potential customer in a forgiving mood, and you may make a sale anyway.


Get Your Tradeshow Message Across in 10 Words or Less

Are you part of a unique group who can share what you do in ten words or less?

The one-liner, elevator speech, company pitch, call it what you want, nonetheless, it’s a powerful way for you to deliver what your company does in a short, concise, easy-to-understand format that people instantly grasp. This is an essential tool to help maximize your tradeshow exhibiting.

According to tradeshow research (available through CEIR – the Center for Exhibition Industry Research), you have 3-5 seconds to capture someone’s attention on the show floor. Less time than it took for you to read the last sentence.

The people at Sequoia Capital call it the “one-liner” – a concise statement that tells people what you do.

Google’s head honchos, Sergy Brin and Larry Page sold their idea to investors with the one-liner, “We deliver the world’s information in one click.” Cisco Systems’ Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack used the statement, “We network, networks.”
(Source: “Fire Them Up! by Carmine Gallo)

How about you? Do you have a clear, concise, consistent statement that says what you do, so your tradeshow visitors immediately get it? Realize that people will judge you and you company based on this statement. Within seconds they decide (rightly or wrongly) whether they want to explore doing business with you.

From my experience walking hundreds of shows, and training many hundreds more, I very, very, very rarely hear a message that I truly understand first time around. Most often I’m bombarded with a string of meaningless industry or product jargon, which isn’t consistent. Speak to one booth staffer, I get one message, speak to another, and the information changes.

In preparation for your next tradeshow, work on your one-liner using the following four steps:

1. Make three columns – (1)  What you do (2) Who you do it for (3) the benefits you offer, then list essential words.

2. Start mixing and matching the words until you come up with a statement of ten words or less.

3. Test it out on your mom. If you can make her understand it, and want to use it, then you’ve hit the mark!

4. Revisit your statement on a regular basis to refine, and keep it fresh and exciting.

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