Do you need better booth staff, or a better trade show strategy?
There are dozens of posts about hiring the right booth staff, bringing only “extroverted” people to the show, and teaching people not to eat, drink, chew gum, or use their mobile device in the booth. Last month, I saw a grown adult squatting on a portable generator while tapping at his smartphone!
There’s a deeper part of the story that isn’t being told.
In a lot of cases, your “bad booth staff” is just frustrated and bored.
Booth staff are often expected to stop aisle traffic, qualify prospects, pitch the product, and collect lead information. When you think about it, this strategy is no different belly-to-belly cold calling: stop a random person, ask if they want what you sell, and try to get to the next step in a sales conversation.
Professional sales people know that this doesn't work. People don't like to be stopped; they really don't like to be pitched; and they absolutely hate spam emails and unsolicited phone calls.
The gung-ho rookies that try this strategy get burned out from rejection and brush offs in less than an hour.
The alternative is to stand in the booth and wait patiently for a prospect to stop. That's a long, boring day.
That's why you see the sales team huddled in the back of the booth, complaining about being at the show, and discussing their dinner plans. That's why the guy was squatting on the portable generator in the trade show booth.
What if you could have qualified prospects coming into your booth because they wanted to meet your sales team?
That's exactly what a good trade show attraction does.
Once I build large crowd around your booth, I perform some incredible magic that explains what your company does and the specific problems your company solves. I develop a storyline around the problem, explaining why it needs to be solved, and how your company can help.
Your qualified prospects have this problem, and they immediately relate to the story. They want to lear more.
As a key part of the presentation, I explain that your representatives would be happy to learn about the prospect’s particular problem and help him or her find the best solution.
Your prospect no longer sees your salesperson as “the sales shark.” Now, your sales representative holds the solution to his particular problem. All the prospect has to do is enter the booth and ask for the solution.
No only does the booth get more traffic this way, the prospect will walk up to the sales person, and ask a very detailed question about your product or service.
The prospect literally qualifies himself to your sales representative.
Now, your sales person just does what she does best: answer questions, explain the product or service, and help the customer get what he wants. In other words, sell.
My customers repeat this process two or three times an hour: building a crowd, broadcasting a message, and bringing qualified prospects into the booth. They have a constant stream of people coming into the booth with questions. The sales team spends their day busily answering questions, demonstrating equipment, and scheduling follow up calls.
The sales team doesn’t have time to get bored or frustrated, and they know they're developing real sales leads.
No one will be squatting on the equipment, either.