5 Keys to Great Tradeshow Selling

September 14, 2014

Tradeshow attendees are unique, they want to discover something - and as such, you can’t sell to them in the same way you would to a prospect in a corporate boardroom. Follow these five steps to more effectively engage potential customers at your next tradeshow.

1) Greetings

Even during the busiest times, always extend your hand, smile and learn your prospect’s name.

Pro tip: Take a look at the prospect’s name badge and refer to him or her by name throughout the conversation.

2) Identifying needs

Ask the attendee what he or she is looking for today so you can identify and address problems your prospect is struggling with.

Pro tip: If you don’t have the right solution, recommend a nearby vendor who does. The attendee with appreciate your forthrightness (so will your fellow exhibitor).

3) Asking and listening

Ask the prospect the key questions up-front (budget, priorities, etc.), listen to the answers and use these to guide the conversation. Don't jump the gun. Instead, let customers have the forum to describe their pain points. Notice body language. Do they appear bored? If they are interested and ready to close, take steps to move the business forward.

Warning: Ask about budget only if the prospect has already decided he or she is in the market for what you have. Don't expect a planned budget for an unplanned purchase.

4) Making the pitch

Be aware of your prospect’s time and refine your pitch.

Pro tip: Before you tell a prospect what your product does, tell them how it will benefit them. Take listening breaks if you notice you are the only one talking. Prospects don't want a long-winded rundown of your complete product line, that's what your website or brochure is for. Don't push your products on people. Regarding lead retrieval: If your prospect is qualified and seems interested, politely ask to scan their badge. Don’t scan every badge, being selective simplifies lead follow-up.

5) Offer and closing

Don’t expect the prospect to sign the dotted line at the event; ask what they need to help them make a decision.

Pro tip: Make notes immediately after your interaction and reference them in your follow-up.

Discover the do’s & don’ts of trade show selling and become a better salesperson at your booth with our step-by-step guide, The New Rules of Tradeshow Sales, download it instantly here.

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