Some of your business may be done on the show floor, but most exhibitors expect contracts to come later, after customers and prospective customers have attended the exposition. How can you make your exhibit memorable? How can you make the investment in exhibiting pay off? There are many ways to make your booth pay dividends: pre-show promotion, good planning and more. An integral part of the calculation is this: you must work to assure that people who stop by your booth remember what they saw. Research by Dr. Allen Konopacki of the INCOMM Center for Trade Show Research and Sales Training has identified a key element of what triggers long-term recall of an exhibit: the interaction attendees have with booth personnel. Based on his work, Dr. Konopacki offers six tips for creating long-lasting, positive sales impressions:
Avoid being overly aggressive. Greet each visitor with enthusiasm, and provide a brief ten-second highlight of what is being featured. An example Dr. Konopacki suggests is: Welcome. Were showing three new products and each offers unique benefits. Please come in and see whats new.
Listen, Learn, Sell More. At the exposition, youre not approaching the customer; the customer is approaching you. Refrain from the pitch and sell approach and, instead, use the listen and learn strategy. Ask questions of the prospective customer: What prompted your interest in this application? Tell me more about what you would like to learn or see here today.
Introduce attendees to management. Attendees are more impressed with exhibitors when they have been introduced to members of management. A friendly handshake from management distinguishes the visitor as a special guest and is likely to influence the sales process.
Offer a one-page briefing sheet that customers can take with them. One-page reports that summarize key points are more likely to be retained and used for reference later.
Recommend other interesting products to see at the exposition. Unexpected service, and genuine interest in the customer by booth personnel can be invaluable in making your booth memorable. Tell customers about something another exhibitor is displaying that may be of interest, if you believe the customer will find it of value. You will be remembered in a very positive light.
Show your appreciation with a special gift. At the end of your sales discussion with a prospective customer, give a gift enclosed in a box and say, Thank you for your visit and your time. That will create a long-lasting impression.
This information was extracted from research published by the INCOMM Center for Trade Show Research and Sales Training, Chicago, IL.
Copyright IAEM Services, Inc., 2000
Reprinted with expressed consent of IAEM Services, Inc.