How To Get Your Booth Staff to Engage with Aisle Traffic at a Trade Show
Imagine walking into a trade show booth: The minute you leave the aisle, you know you’re going to be approached by a salesman. He won’t let you leave that booth without your contact information so he can bombard you with spam, add you to his “mailing list,” and start making unsolicited phone calls. All this because you wanted a phone charger!
Trade shows are intimidating for your booth staff for precisely the same reason. They aren’t sharks, but they know the attendees think they are. Your sales reps know people don’t answer important business questions from strangers, so opening a conversation with a product related message is a recipe for rejection. Every cold caller knows this.
A trade show attraction serves two important purposes at the initial point of contact. First, the attraction stops aisle traffic and focuses attention on your booth. After all, you can't have a consultative selling conversation with someone who ignores you. Second, the attraction explains why a qualified prospect should enter your booth and learn more about your product or service.
How to Leverage Your Trade Show Attraction to Connect with More Qualified Prospects
Build Your Product Message Into the Attraction. At the end of the presentation, the attraction should invite prospects into the booth to learn more about your products and services. The presentation should leave them with questions about their particular needs and applications, which is a natural opening for your sales team to start a consultative selling conversation and set a follow up appointment.
Scan the Crowd. Once the attraction has built a large crowd in front of your booth, so your sales reps can casually scan the crowd and read their name badges (as well as the logos on their shirts and uniforms). They can approach their current and past clients after the show to say hello and refresh the relationship. Similarly, the clients they've been trying to connect with through cold calls, emails, and voicemails will often stop to watch the show, and this is a fantastic opportunity to make an in-person introduction.
Start a Conversation. Sales reps can ask opening questions like “Did you see the one with the numbers yet?” or just say "Blows me away. Sometimes I think he really can read minds..." These non-threatening, non-business openers build rapport and trust, so the rep can eventually transition to a qualifying question.
These engaging conversation points will make your representatives more personable and more memorable to show attendees. Attendees will feel more comfortable in your booth, and be more open and honest about their needs and questions, too. With a real connection established, attendees will be willing to schedule follow up calls, and actually look forward to future communications from your representatives.
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