How To Have a Transactional Trade Show


It’s that time of year where trade shows are starting to make their appearance around the world. With all of the advantages of exhibiting, a successful trade show outing can become your greatest sales and marketing move of the year. You are face to face with hundreds of individuals; it’s your job to sell your product, sell your company and sell yourself.

In being transactional, the goal for a sales rep is to not only collect leads but also cater to what the potential leads are desiring. It’s all about gauging the interest of the audience — and maintaining that interest without becoming a nuisance. Simple sales and marketing 101, right?

There are many dos and don’ts regarding trade show etiquette. None of the rules are set in stone, but when looking for success stories, here are four things to consider:

Have a game plan — and use it
Like anything in life — whether it be a major office presentation, a doctoral dissertation or a playoff football game — preparation is key. If you’ve never heard of the 12 Ps of preparation, now’s a great time to learn the message and understand the consequences.

The last thing you want is to be unprepared for a trade show. It doesn’t hurt to have one or two — or several — pre-show meetings before you arrive to the trade show’s destination, as well as while you’re at the destination.

With everything in life, treat the event with pre-game intentions. Visualize the end result. Enter the event with confidence. Make your connections. Play to win. Most importantly, be the best representative of your company you can. In fact, be even better than that person.

First impressions count
Always remember that first impressions are everything. An opinion of someone can come in a matter of seconds. Forming an opinion of someone quickly can parlay into forming an opinion of a company and its brand.

Having your most personable employees available to make an impact is an excellent idea. You want your best people to deliver the right messages and to show the brand. You also want those people to hit quick, fast and in a hurry when it comes to impressing those they interact with.

Never forget that at a trade show, most exhibitors have the same target audience as you. They’ll hear similar pitches; they’ll process similar spiels. The difference is your approach versus the others could be those first few seconds you introduce yourself to the audience. Remember: A trade show is still a skill catered to the best salesperson.

Get the lead, keep the lead
Obtaining leads is a major objective at a trade show. The best sales representatives not only get leads but also maintain leads.

Good sales reps also know that it doesn’t hurt to reach out to potential leads weeks in advance of a trade show. Connections are made on the phone, and person-to-person meetings come at the trade show. Those weeks before the event can be perfect for building a great relationship, which could only benefit the ultimate connection of meeting executives and upper-management reps at the trade show.

Business cards are extremely popular at trade shows. Consider those your keys to get into the door of brand new leads. Don’t let those keys sit in your pocket or collect dust on your desk at work. Put that card to use; make the call, and connect, connect, connect!

Substance over flash
Return on investment: Three words that may be the most underestimated in sales. At a trade show, these three words are incredibly important.

There are a lot of companies that will enter a trade show with extravagant, eye-catching visuals —
which is good. But then, when someone asks about the company, the sales rep is shaky about the product
or unable to answer a ton of questions — which is bad.

As much as you want to be extravagant at the event, you have to ask yourself: What good is the extravagance if there’s no return on investment accompanied with it? If the flair doesn’t serve a purpose other than basic flash, then leave it at your home office. The best sales approach for many will involve what you say and what you do, not how well the visual looks.

Trade shows are the perfect opportunity to make a major impact and show how important it is for the audience to do business with your company. Have fun with the event, but make sure you’re prepared for it. The trade show is your opportunity to shine. Make it your moment.

If you’re going to the ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition in Toronto, stop by BOOTH 521 and find out how it PAYS to be connected to MultiView.


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