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- How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 1
- 5½ [behind-the-scenes] Marketing & Sales Activities You Need To Do in December
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- Running a small firm? Who holds you accountable?
- Marketing & Sales Success Begins with a Simple Step… Thinking!
- Your Sales Forecast Doesn’t Have to be a Guessing Game!
- Lead generation is a 3-step process.
- Measuring Sales… it’s Not just about Revenue
- 7 Selling Behaviors Seller-Doers Must Employ to be Successful.
- Can you really be “all things to all people?”
- 12 Marketing & Sales Activities you Gotta STOP this Year!
- How to maximize the impact of your marketing investment.
- Revenue Growth? Try the ‘5% Challenge’… it’s Brilliant!
- Should you ever walk away from revenue?
- Get Ready for 2017 with these 6 Marketing & Sales Activities
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 2
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 1
- 10 Guidelines for How to Be Successful at Sales
- Strategy Before Tactics!
- 6 Marketing & Sales Lessons Learned in our First 4 Years in Business
- The Sales Presentation: Stop Reading the PowerPoint Slides and Tell Your Story
- Content Marketing not working? Eh, don’t worry about it!
- Marketing Measurement: 3 New Methods You Have to Try in 2016
- The One Thing You Must Include in Your 2016 Marketing & Sales Plan
- Not using LinkedIn? Are you kidding me?!
- Is it OK to fire a client?
- Take Charge of Your Own Success… Stop Relying on Others!
- Getting first-time clients to take a chance on you.
- 9 Ways to Build your Business During the Summer Slowdown
- The Top 10 Ways to Build Awareness
- The 13 Most Common Website Mistakes
- The Most Important Part of Exhibiting
- Content marketing isn’t a one-time thing… it’s an all-the-time thing.
- THINKING! A framework for creating better business plans in 2015.
- Not happy with your marketing & sales? Then make just one change in 2015!
- For Beginners: Should I Tweet Daily? Yes… and here’s how.
- Got your Marketing Plan for 2015? No?! Now’s a good time to start…
- How to Connect with Booth Visitors – An Exhibitor’s Worksheet
- Not getting the email results you want? Make sure you’re following these 7 email marketing guidelines.
- 10 Ways to Get Clients to Sell FOR You (and they won’t cost a dime!)
- Do you know where you’re going? Why Strategy should drive your marketing & sales.
- 11 execution tips to help you exceed client expectations
- How to Turn First-time Clients into Repeat Clients
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 2
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 1
- 13 Lessons for Researchers Who Don’t Want (or Like) to Sell
- Social media marketing success in 30 minutes a day
- Get it right! You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
- It’s not that complicated! A common sense approach to the marketing & sales process.
- How MR firms are blowing it with new customers: Lessons learned while secret shopping
- Management or sales… you can’t serve two masters.
- Prove it! Nine ways to convince prospects to work with you for the first time.
- Five everyday ways to grow your business
- How that ‘one great client’ could doom your firm
- Six marketing and sales mistakes MR firms make every day
- Eight proven ways to build awareness – and why you should!
- Suspects, Prospects and Clients: Is your firm focused on the right target?
- A Checklist for Conducting Your Own Marketing & Sales Audit
- Learning to play the game: What football can teach us about marketing
- Differentiating your firm in a crowded marketplace
- 25 low- or no-cost ways to grow your business
- 15 Reasons E-mail Still Matters in Sales and Marketing
- Come prepared, dress the part and follow up: 10 dos for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- No rookies, no gum and no Frisbees: 10 don’ts for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- How to see yourself as clients see you
- Marketing 101: It takes Work to make it Work
- Use the 8 Ps of Marketing when Setting Strategy
- Integrate the 4 As of Marketing into Your Planning
- Size Does Matter: 4 Approaches to Growing Your Business
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 2)
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 1)
Come prepared, dress the part and follow up: 10 dos for exhibiting at MR trade shows
In an article last month, I shared 10 things conference exhibitors should avoid when working the booth at a trade show. Now that we’ve established what not to do, I’d like to share 10 best practices that can help sales professionals improve their success at the shows.
- Know the exhibit hours. Be in your booth before the doors open and stay until they close. Nowhere is this more important than on the final day. Many conference attendees save their stroll through the exhibit hall until the end of the last day and if you’re busy packing up early, you will miss those opportunities.
- Come prepared. Have an ample supply of pens, staples, sales collateral, business cards, etc.
- Consider a uniform. Don’t worry, I don’t mean a UPS-like ensemble of brown and brown but maybe have the entire booth team wear polo shirts in the corporate colors and with a logo. Not only do you want to reinforce your brand while in the booth but also while walking around the hotel.
- Silence your cell phone. You do not want a good conversation with a prospective client to be interrupted. Check your messages during a break.
- Physically speaking, your best bet is to stand at the front of the booth where your space meets the aisle. Maintain an open and relaxed position (no crossed arms, hands out of pockets), smiling and making eye contact with passers-by.
- Ask the right questions. As you’re standing in your booth, smiling, the one question you should never ask but almost everyone does is, “Can I help you?” Almost everyone will reply, “No, thanks. Just looking.” (Others might ask, “How are you today?” The response to which is, “Fine, thanks.”) Your goal is to engage passers-by in some sort of conversation that then leads to a business discussion. Try, for instance, “Hello, John, what’s brings you to the conference this year?” or “Good morning, Mary, do you do much online qualitative research at [insert company name from her name tag]?”
- Remember the old joke: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Answer: Practice, practice, practice. The same goes for your booth presentation. Whether you just have some key talking points, a PowerPoint presentation or a software demo, practice it often so you’re as polished as you can be when it’s show time.
- Have both good literature and cheap literature. Many visitors to your booth will not be qualified or not ready to talk about purchasing decisions. No need to give them your very expensive, glossy corporate brochure. Instead, give them a nice, little (but still professional) overview sheet and save the good literature for the hot leads.
- Get a business card from every booth visitor but don’t rely just on the card. Most booth workers will have a conversation with someone, collect a card and then maybe scribble a note on the back of it. Instead, create a small form to which you can attach the card (or write down a name and e-mail address if someone runs out of cards) and have standard questions on the form you need to answer:
– Type of firm? Size of firm?
– What product(s)/service(s) interested them?
– How will we follow-up?
– Hot – warm – cool lead?
– Other notes or comments?
– Who gathered the lead?
You want to write down all of these important details at the event because there is no way you’ll remember them days later. Once you complete a form, have a specific box or envelope into which it’s placed. After the event, you can sort the leads and start following up.
- Follow up! According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (www.ceir.org), more than 80 percent of all companies that exhibit at a conference or trade show do not follow up on the leads they generated at an event. Boggles the mind, doesn’t it? And by follow up, I don’t mean a thanks-for-stopping-by-our-booth e-mail but an ongoing series of touches to establish relationships and build your firm’s brand. If you’re not going to follow up, don’t even bother showing up.
Put in the work
Exhibiting is hard work – dealing with the booth, traveling, living out of a suitcase, surviving on hotel food and standing on your feet all day. Rest assured it can be worth it if you’re willing to put in the work to do it right. If you abide by the 20 guidelines I’ve laid out in this article series, you stand to increase your ROI at conferences and improve your overall experience because you’ll feel more confident and make better connections with current and potential clients. Best of luck at the shows this fall.
Good luck and good marketing!
This article first appeared in Quirk’s. Click Here to see the original posting.