There is a continuing discussion, or maybe a debate, or outright arguments as to whether sales, professional selling, is an art form or a science. The real challenge is that the answer is not black and white, unlike other disciplines where there are definitive delineators, sales is not so black of black and white, leaving a lot of room for debate, and more importantly for mistakes, and hurt feelings. Given the fact that the playing field is mostly grey, it is hard to persuade people, especially the unwilling, that they could be more productive if they were to sell in either the black or the white, rather than drift in an endless sea of grey.
In the late ninety seventies one of my favourite television shows was the US sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. The character I remember most was Herbert Ruggles (Herb) Tarlek Jr., played by actor Frank Bonner. Herb was the epitome of bad salesmanship characterized by his boorish and tasteless approaches to clients. To complete his baboonish portrait, he wore loud plaid suits, with a belt that matched his white shoes.
Want to hear the worst follow-up phone call to a contact you met at a trade show?
It goes something like this…
You: Hi, It’s Barry Siskind with ABC Company and we met last week at the Green Show.
Contact: Yes I remember you. What can I do for you?
One of the great benefits of attending an exhibition is the opportunity to network with industry colleagues, suppliers and buyers. Yet, we see people with their eyes cast downward, mesmerized as their fingers fling across a miniature keyboard at lightning speed.
I’ve been conducting training programs for a long time. I recently worked with a client whose focus on staff safety impressed me. Before my workshop began a complete set of instructions for the participants was issued around fire safety, escape routes and the location of portable defibrillators. When companies walk the safety talk they have in effect created a safety culture which every employee lives and breathes.
It has often been said that the secret to exhibit success lies in its focus. All too often exhibitors either try to accomplish too much from their exhibitions or their goals are vague at best. The trick to getting your trade show program off on the right foot is to spend time well before you take any other steps to decide exactly what you want your exhibit to accomplish and how you will measure your results.
We all want to do the right thing. Eliminating the waste in an exhibit program is just one example of changes where we can make a difference. Yet, often company’s shy away because of a misconception that having a green exhibit adds to the overall cost. Your exhibit and all that it entails can have a tremendous impact on the environment. With a little mindfulness you can take measures to ensure that you are doing your part.
The number of leads that are obtained at a trade show that are mishandled is astounding. Whether you are exhibiting to increase business or have a communication need such as brand reinforcement, the contacts you make at trade shows are of value and that value decreases each day they go unanswered.
Perhaps understanding the reasons why this happens will give you a heads-up and ensure that the proper preparation is done ahead of time.
Let’s say you are getting ready to set up your first tradeshow booth or you are trying to figure how to close more sales. Then you may want to find a mentor, because they will be able to guide you in the right direction. Here are a few ways mentors can help you achieve greater success
My kids think I’m a Luddite. I am from the world where the value of face-to-face marketing was one I understood. Now I live in a world where people communicate with their thumbs. However lately I’ve seen that faces and thumbs can live in harmony.
I will admit that thumbs can connect to the world instantly. They can communicate to large numbers of people in real time, albeit at the cost of good grammar and spelling. Faces still have the advantage of being able to stare eyeball to eyeball with a client even if it is only one at a time. So in a world where it is faster and considerably less expensive to connect with a text, can one justify the cost of face-to-face?