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Engage Without Being a Sleazy Salesman
It’s time to dust off your sales and people skills. You are about to be back in a trade show booth, attempting to engage passers-by to tell them about what you have to offer. Being a good booth rep is a delicate balance of being friendly and unintimidating while also enticing visitors to step into your booth for a chat. We are all familiar with the kiosks in the mall that are giving away samples of a miracle lotion or a hair straightener. We know we don’t want to be that type of person. We have to keep in mind the trade show etiquette rules and refrain from pulling people away from other booths or peddling brochures in the middle of the aisle. That’s not good for anyone. So, how do you get someone to chat with you when there are over 90 other booths?
(Fun fact: 96 companies are registered for the National, as of today 5/26/21!)
Step #1: SMILE.
Seriously. I’m guilty of RBF (Resting B*tch Face) when I’m thinking about something or just daydreaming and people always think I’m mad or unfriendly. Don’t be me. Smile at everyone that walks by.
Step #2: Hide your phone.
Do not be the person that is sitting in the chair at their booth with your head down looking at your phone. We are all busy but especially during break times you want to be standing up and looking like you are available to chat.
Step #3: Don’t greet passers-by with a sales line such as “Have you tried our new products” or “Do you use our machine in your office” or my personal pet peeve, “Do you want to increase your bottom line”.
Duh. Everyone wants to increase their bottom line. It sounds sleazy. Greet everyone in a friendly way by saying “Hello” and “How are you” or “How’s the conference going for you?”. Give them a compliment. I frequently notice someone’s bag or top and think to myself how cute it is. If a thought like this crosses your mind, say it out loud to them (don’t be creepy though). “I love your bag!” or “Those are great/cute shoes.” If you recognize them, say so! Greet them personally by saying their name and asking how things are going in Florida, Maine, Chicago…
Step #4: Prepare and test your elevator pitch.
Draft and practice a few sentences that tell about your products in a clear and meaningful way. As you use them, take note of the response you get and adjust your plan as necessary.
Bonus Tip: Avoid negativity. Do not be sucked into negative chat with fellow exhibitors complaining about hall traffic, schedule, or food. It will impact your entire attitude.
Bring a book. Our faves: The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, Start with Why by Simon Sinek, Raise the Bar by Jon Taffer, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith and Rework by Jason Fried, to list a few.
Reply to this email with a title of a book you recommend and you will be entered to win a bundle of our favorite books.