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.
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.
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.
When Murphy’s Law decides to ply its magic to your trade show strategy you need a contingency. It’s called your Plan B Having a back-up in place is always a good idea; so much so that in 2006 movie actor Brad Pitt named his production company Plan B Productions. More recently the infamous morning after birth control pill has been dubbed Plan B.
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:
Some questions are extremely valuable while others are exceptionally weak. You want to take advantage of the power strong questions offer. Here are simple tactics to guide you to making sales more easily.
Some questions actually stop the sales process…fast. Generally these are questions that are answered with simple “Yes” or “No.” I call these types of questions “throw away questions.” They actually stop the sales process. After your Prospect answers, you don’t know where to go. He answered your question. Your question didn’t call for any elaboration. Your question didn’t call for his participation. In fact, it’s almost like you’re drilling him by asking questions that start with: