How to Sell More at Trade Shows

October 16, 2014 Alex Traynor

How to Sell More at Trade ShowsIf you're not getting the sales results you want when you attend trade shows, you need to analyze your approach. Trade shows can be expensive, and if you're not executing an effective sales strategy, you are wasting your time and money. We've come up with a few ways for you to sell more at trade shows.

Develop Your Strategy

What's your sales objective for the trade show? Don't just wing it. Develop a solid sales strategy for trade shows and communicate this strategy to your team. Everyone needs to be on the same page and should be working toward the established goals. Your objective can't be to simply introduce yourself to prospects. These people are attending the trade show to buy and you're there to sell. You're investing time and money when you attend trade shows, so in order to get the greatest return on your investment; you need to have a good sales objective. You want to move your sales process forward by reaching out to attendees in advance to drive traffic to your booth, set up meetings at your booth, qualify visitors who come to your booth, and follow up with visitors shortly after trade shows.

Engage with Visitors

When someone shows interest and approaches your booth, you want to reach out and interact with them. Approach them, greet them professionally, and invite them to learn more about your products/services. You should already know what you want to say to interested prospects. Have a quick spiel on hand, so you're ready to provide enticing information quickly. You won't have a lot of time to get them interested so prepare ahead of time and be clear and concise in your explanations and responses. Remember, these people are attending the trade show because they're interested in buying. Use a hard-sell approach and strike up a conversation right away. Otherwise, they will be moving on to the next booth before you know it.

Qualify Prospects

Spend your time wisely. You want to spend more time with people who matter and avoid wasting time with people who will not buy. As soon as you start talking to a prospect, find out who they are. Are they a buyer, decision maker, supplier, or a competitor? You don't want to spend valuable time with someone who is not responsible for buying your product/service. You also want to find out where they are located, especially if you don't serve certain regions. Just ask questions, check out their badge, and/or exchange business cards in order to find out this information.

Ask Questions

Ask open-ended questions to find out how you can help them. Once you determine their needs and interests, you can continue the conversation in a way that demonstrates how your product/service can benefit them. Asking questions like this and responding in a way that will interest them will yield better results than if you were to always stick to a prepared pitch. If you can get them talking, take the time to listen so you can then address their concerns.

Follow Up After Trade Shows

You need to follow up with the people you interacted with at your booth. Nurture the leads you generated during the event and turn them into sales. You should aim to follow up within 24 hours of the trade show. Remember to collect business cards and take notes with relevant information about prospects during the event. This will help when you're ready to follow up.

It's time to update your sales approach at trade shows. Develop a sales objective and strategy for the trade show and communicate this to your team. Engage with visitors, qualify prospects, ask questions, take notes, and be sure to follow up shortly after the event. If you're not satisfied with your sales results at trade shows, analyze your current approach, identify problem areas, and implement these tips to sell more at your next event. 

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