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Set Up Your Trade Show Booth For Lots Of Leads And Sales - Articles Surfing
No matter how snazzy your trade show booth design may be, it won't do all the work for you. In fact, your trade show sales process should begin several weeks before the show even opens.
Most exhibitors don't send out invitations to their most likely customers, so you'll have a competitive edge if you ask your sales force to drop a note or an email to their customers and any prospects in the area. Include the number of your booth or even a map, and let them know that you look forward to seeing them. Make sure the invitation includes your offer, or a reminder of what it is that sets your company apart from the competition.
It helps to have your name in your prospective customers' minds as they walk through the show.
Another pre-show project will include both your sales experts and your booth design team. Since the majority of show attendees will not be interested in your specific product, it helps if your booth design and layout appeals only to true prospects and current customers.
Brainstorm with the design team, with lots of input from your top sales staff, and create a booth that brings in the customers while encouraging the lookie-loos to keep on walking.
Once the show starts, you'll want to be prepared. Don't assume that your main job is to hand out brochures ' you could do that in front of a supermarket and save the expense of setting up a show. Instead, consider the show as a place to find solid leads and maintain your relationship with your buyers.
If you usually set up a table at the front of the booth and cover it with brochures, consider a different approach this time. A sales staff behind a table feels 'safe' but they can be ineffective, so do whatever it takes to increase face-to-face contact and reduce your reliance on printed brochures. Most brochures get thrown out, anyway.
Have you made it easy for your sales staff to actually close a sale at the trade show? If that's actually a possibility, you may want a quiet space walled off at the back of your exhibit where you can spend some quality time with the customer who's ready to make the deal today. If your product is large or very expensive, this might not be needed, but you may still want to have a separate space where you can carry on a conversation with some of your more important customers.
Trade shows are very intense, and they are not the place for your newest sales people (or worse, the guy from the mailroom). If you make it clear that the trade show is expected to give you a good return on your investment, and that your company will do what it takes to help your experienced salesmen follow up each lead and close the sale, you won't have any trouble finding volunteers to work the show.
Additional training, or a high-powered, invigorating seminar a few days before the show might help give your staff the Herculean energy they'll for the long days (and nights) of the show.
Speaking of energy, make sure you send enough people to do the job, and let each of them get away from the crowds for a few minutes on a regular basis. The high energy and high expectations of a show can drain the enthusiasm right out of your well-trained staff if you don't take their comfort and needs into account.
Does your staff need extra training in the best way to collect leads and take orders at a trade show? You may want to save a bit of money by buying a less expensive display booth so you can afford to hire a qualified sales trainer who specializes in this selling environment.
Once the show has wrapped up, you'll have a pile of leads to follow up on. Be sure you don't let them languish ' your competitors will probably have a very similar list of names, and they won't wait to call on them.
Also set aside a time very shortly after the show to decompress and talk over all aspects of the experience with your sales staff. What went wrong, and what went right? Did they notice any particular technique that worked well, and that should be used again? Did they notice problems with the booth design, the layout of the tables, or the way the literature was displayed?
Take lots of notes and review them carefully before your next show. The things you learn this time around could make all the difference at your next trade show.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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