A dilemma many exhibitors face is how much information to include in their trade show display. For small exhibitors with one or two product offerings the answer can be difficult. For larger exhibitors with a multitude of products and services which might also include several departments, the answer can become a nightmare. There is often so much to tell and the exhibitor wants to make sure the visitors get the right message. The solution starts by taking a step back and looking at the display from the visitor’s perspective.
Which would you rather have: 500 mediocre leads or 25 – 30 high value leads? The answer is obvious and yet many exhibitors who attend trade shows try to talk to as many people as possible then go back to the office with a fist full of business cards and say; “see what I accomplished.”
The cost of following up on these so-called business leads is enormous and it leaves your sales reps often disheartened with the number of rejections they receive. The solution is three fold:
In her book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, JK Rowling wrote: “Enter, stranger, but take heed Of what awaits the sin of greed, For those who take, but do not earn, Must pay most dearly in their turn. So if you seek beneath our floors, A treasure that was never yours, Thief, you have been warned, beware Of finding more than treasure there.”
Say No! Yes, I mean it!! If your client or prospect (or customer) wants to buy something that is not in their best interest (it’s too small, it won’t satisfy their needs), say, “NO, I don’t want to sell that to you,” and make sure to add something like, “I’d rather you be unhappy with my competitor than with me.”
A while back I posted a question on the TSEA (Trade Show Exhibitors Association) Group on LinkedIn about the use of promotional products. There were 45 comments soon after and the discussion is still going strong. Comments ranged from those who thought promotional products were a waste of time and resources to those at the other end of the spectrum who found them very useful.
Tote bags, pens, mouse pads, lanyards, CD’s, note pads, candy, gizmo’s for your computer, stress balls, luggage tags, buttons, pins, card holders, golf tees, sweat bands, mugs… don’t you just love it? Lots of people do. Ask visitors why then attend certain shows or what they remember best and they say – “all those cool giveaways.”
Thinking back to one of the great cult films of the 1980s…Caddyshack. There is a conversation between Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) and Judge Smails (Ted Knight) in the locker room after Ty has just finished a round of golf. Judge Smails asks Ty what he shot that day and Ty responds by telling the Judge that he doesn’t keep score. Puzzled, Judge Smails says, “How do you measure yourself with other golfers?” Ty responds by saying, “By height.”
Sometimes watching sales people in action is like watching a tennis match; the prospect asks something and we lob back an answer right away. Other times the prospect will make a comment, and we slam back an answer, at times with more top spin than one would ever need. While there are a number of good lessons in sports for sales people, a meeting should not look like the final match at a Grand Slam event.