Every year companies who have never exhibited are enticed by the prospect of great returns from attending a trade show. While many of these first time exhibitors achieve great results, many do not. They find that the post-show math often shows they did not achieve a positive return on their investment and the result is a reluctance to try again.
One of my personal pet peeves happens when I ask a sales person a question and they don’t know the answer but give one of two responses:
- They shrug their shoulders and go on and talk about something else, or
- Invent an answer and then present it with absolute conviction.
When you are shopping at a store you can either overlook the naivety of what you are hearing or walk out and visit a competitor. This situation is exaggerated one hundred fold when the competition is located ten feet away in the next booth at a trade show. Here are a few ideas to incorporate into your future show plans:
What’s the number one cause of a negative impact on your brand at your exhibition booth? Clutter!
Clutter happens at a trade show almost by accident. It can happen when one of your staff carelessly drapes a jacket over a chair, leaves a notebook on a counter, places a coffee cup on the display or ignores the scatterings of literature or products by visitors. It all produces clutter which in turn affects visitor’s perception of your corporate professionalism. In the 1960’s psychologist Albert Mehrabrian stated that 55% of a person’s opinion of the people they meet comes from what they see. It is a safe postulation that the same judgement comes from your booth presentation.
One of the highest ranking reasons that attendees identify for visiting an exhibition or event is their ability to connect with high value people. This rationale is at the heart of any trade event which has buyers and sellers from a broad geographic reach under one roof for a finite amount of time. Networking always has been and will continue to be what trade shows are all about. With the advances in technology, which seems to have moved people away from face to face contact, the need to network in person has never been greater. Yet, meeting strangers is, for many people, on the top of the list of social fears. These people ignore the potential benefits of networking and use excuses like:
“I really care about my customers,” Terry told me as we were driving to an appointment. “I try to do the very best I can for them and make sure that their needs are met.” “Sounds good,” I thought to myself. “But I wonder if it’s true.”
If you follow this blog, you may have seen that several times I have suggested that those people who are not cut out for a career in sales, should seriously consider transitioning to a career in hospitality. Based on recent experiences I’ve had as a prospect, and seeing how some sales people execute their sale, I am beginning to firmly believe that there is an expert on clairvoyance, who on his blog, is recommending to his readers that those who can’t cut it as clairvoyants, strongly consider a career in sales.
Time and time again people wonder why mentors sign up for a mentoring program and what they get out of participating. Some of the most common reasons include wanting to pay-it-forward or be a role model, or they simply feel honoured that someone thinks highly enough of them to recommend them for the role of mentor. But there are also several tangible skills that effective mentors develop and gain from being a mentor – valuable skills that help them stand out from the competition, move up the corporate ladder and accelerate their careers.