After a recent visit to a trade show, I felt I had to point out a few of quick thoughts that we all need to keep in mind. I am going to make this short and sweet and not going to give you too much, because that is the problem—TOO MUCH!
#1 – Too Much Fanfare
Please, tone it down a bit. I understand that some businesses and products need a little more trumpet-blasting than others do. However, for most, it is just over-the-top. Usually, it is a professional fair, show or exposition—not circus. I also understand that you often need something to help draw attention, but if you would never do it at your place of business, perhaps you should not do it at a trade show.
Also, at least make sure the attention getter relates to what you do. Come on; if you sell accounting software, I don’t see how the clown doing balloon tricks makes any sense.
#2 – Too Much Stuff
You obviously need a lot of marketing material at your booth, but don’t go crazy with this. When you give people too many options of things they can pick, they usually choose to pick up nothing. Narrow the parameters.
Part of the problem is that many sales and marketing people realize that a select few pieces of their normal material is insufficient for a trade show. Therefore, they put out EVERYTHING. Why not create a piece or two specifically designed for the event?
#3- Too Much Talk
Why is it that so many sales people seem to take their normal sales process and throw it out of the window at a show? Even at the show, you still have to ask questions, uncover problems and expose need. However, for some reason, when standing at that booth, some sales people become automated-TV-commercials with no pause or off switch.
Prepare a list of questions to ask people that stop by. Have at least one powerful “hook” question that will make attendees stop and think and simultaneously, help you begin to qualify the prospect.
Trade shows are simply another prospecting avenue and deserve the same diligent and professional sales processes that you use with other prospecting methods.
MTD Sales Training
(Image by Mark McLaughlin)
If ever there was a key skill that you need to study and improve upon it’s asking the right sales questions.
You need to unearth the pain, the desire and the motivations that will get your prospect to take action.
Now in an ideal world your prospect will answer your questions EXACTLY the way that you want them to so that your product/service benefits match them like fitting a hand into a glove!
But we live in the real world!
Having said that here’s a technique that will enable you to work out what questions to ask so that you get the answers you need!
Write down the top 5 benefits that your product/service has.
Then, you need to reverse engineer those benefits. Write down what the prospect would be experiencing now because they are not taking advantage of those benefits because they are not using your product/service.
Let me give you an example:
Let’s say that you sell software that enables you to fax documents from your desktop.
One of the benefits is that it saves you time and money. There’s no standing at a fax machine and because it’s internet based there are no costs to fax each document after the initial purchase of the software.
So that’s the benefit. We now need to reverse engineer that benefit.
Now because the prospect does not use the software at the moment a lot of time must be wasted when people are sending faxes because it takes a couple of minutes for them to go through. Plus, it costs 30p to send a fax from the machine.
So now you can construct some questions around this:
How many faxes does your company send in an average month?
How long does it take to send a fax at the machine?
How much is it currently costing you to send the faxes each month?
So if you get something like 1,000 faxes, 5 minutes per fax and 30p per fax and your software costs £250 then you’ve really got something to work on!
Because after you’ve completed the document to fax all you need to do is enter one screen, put in the number and press send so it takes 1 minute as opposed to 5 – SAVING 4000 minutes per month
Currently it costs your company 1,000 faxes x 30p per fax each month – £300 per month
So in month 1 the payback is actually £50 saving (£300 fax fees – cost of software £250) and then £300 per month savings thereafter and it saves 66 hours worth of time which at £10 per hour equates to £660.
I hope you get the picture?
Construct your questions in this way and it will really help you.