If you’ve made all the necessary preparations I discussed in EXPO 101, you’ll find yourself in a well-equipped booth at the Business Expo, ready to take on whatever industry peers or potential customers come your way!
Let’s jump right in: How do you prioritize prospects? You’ll meet a bunch of people at the trade show, so you need to weed out real potential clients vs. expo-goers looking to score some free giveaways. When you talk to people near your booth, categorize them in your mind:
- A: promising prospect, is interested and asks you questions
- B: mild prospect, looks over your marketing materials but isn’t immediately verbal
- C: least likely customer, not very engaged with you or your display
If you have an information sheet they must fill out to enter a prize drawing (or another lead-generating option), make a mark on the corner (A, B, or C) before you drop it in the box. If you exchange business cards, make a subtle note on the back regarding whether this is a high-priority follow-up. If you’re uncomfortable taking notes near prospective clients, just make a mental note and remember to record that information somewhere when you get a free minute.
Personality is everything. You should be friendly, positive, and engaging. Ask people what they’re looking for, or about their previous experience with a similar company/product. Have answers ready. Don’t be afraid to have fun or enjoy a casual conversation – the more comfortable people are around you, the more likely they are to pay attention to what you’re saying.
Listen, listen, listen. Uncover a prospect’s needs and wants by paying attention to what they’re saying/asking. Probe for more information. If you listen to a need, and express the desire and ability to fill that need, you’re more likely to make an important contact or close a sale.
Find a way to direct people’s attention to your marketing materials and ALWAYS GIVE AND RECEIVE INFORMATION. Every person who comes into contact with you or your booth should be entering their contact info somewhere and leaving with a marketing piece in their hands.
Use social media to promote while you’re at the event! If your business has a Facebook or Twitter account, create live status updates from your booth/table! Think: “Booth 325 at the CoC Expo is the place to be! We just gave away a free laptop case and there are more prizes to come! Stop by and see us!” Be sure you include the name of the event, your booth number, and possibly time/location (space permitting). Post live pictures of your booth & event staff, or fun customers that come to talk to you – photos of prize winners holding their prizes are great too!
It seems like a lot to do (and it can be!) so make sure you have reliable help with you. Your support staff at any expo/trade show should be as knowledgeable and outgoing as you are!
Tomorrow: EXPO 103!