Selling Tips at Trade Shows -Market Series Part 6

Having a trade show is a huge investment and it does not come cheap either. Besides spending a lot of money on a booth, travel, marketing and personal costs! You just can’t depend on promotional efforts alone to make sure your investment is worthwhile, You really need to have a sales & process in place at the show. Why?

If you don’t have one, the likelihood is that your prospect clients will show their interests and spend their wallet share to your competitors.

So, how can you get the potential customer’s attention real-time and turn them into serious prospects and buyers?

There are Six key steps to selling at a trade show:

1.     The Power of merchandising
2.     Observing and Qualify
3.     Determine customers wants & needs
4.     Offer a solution
5.     Close  the sale
6.     Follow Up

The Power Of Merchandising The power of creative visual merchandising plays a very important role in your design business. In a highly competitive market your customers are savvy as ever. That’s why it’s essential to make your booth experience as appealing and engaging as possible.

Eye-catching graphics, products and colours that out shine from the booths  are the first thing that will get  the visitors’ attentions. At that point they stop to find out what product or service you provide. Make sure it’s clearly communicated in an easy to read format, your logo & sign are clearly visible. In less than 10 seconds, your visitors will make a decision whether they should pop into your booth to learn more about you or by pass your booth to somewhere else that grabs their attentions. The booth must be inviting and ease of shopping: tables and counters at the side, avoiding a visual barrier; no clutter. Look out for  welcoming body language so that you can connect with them. 

Observing and qualify. Visitors like to be acknowledged. When you see the person, stop, walk over, establish eye contact, read the name badge, and greet them by name with an open-ended question that gives you insight such as:

“Hello Susan, what have you seen so far that interests you?” or 
“What are you hoping to  get out of this show?” 

Based on the conversation, start probing to find out how the person fits into the organisation in terms of budget and decision-making authority.

Determine customers wants & needs. Most visitors come to a show for a specific reason. While they may want to know what’s new on the market, they usually have a specific want and need to solve or a wish list to fulfil. Learn and define the 8 customer’s catch and what catch would resonate with them.

Offer a solution. Explain how your products or services can meet their needs  or meet their budget and their wish lists.  From experience most visitors will spend no more than 10 minutes in a booth even if they are really interested in your product or service. The key here is to focus on what they tell you and listen to their needs and match the solution you propose to their needs.

Call for Action by Taking Sales/Orders. If the visitors are really interested in your products and they indicate a buying signal, be bold and close the sales by asking:
  • Let’s take a seat and I’ll write up an order for you? Or 
  • How about I place the order now?
Remember, most of the buyers come with a budget  in mind and their objective is to spend money and you want to be the one taking the order at the show and not your competitors .So be bold to ask for the sales or order from them.

Follow Up post show. At some point some visitors are not ready to order right at the show and you know they are a potential client you should do the following:

  • Ask for an appointment to follow up after the show.
  • Don’t give out too much information or brochures so you have an excuse to follow-up later. 
  • Be sure the person is entered into the lead system. As soon as the person leaves your booth, make detailed notes in the lead system as to what you talked about. It’s a good idea to keep a pocket-sized notebook so you can jot down information for later.
  • Classify your leads leads; Hot leads, Warm leads or Cold leads and follow up accordingly.

Here’s to your trade show success

Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

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