Many sales professionals and entrepreneurs use business expos and trade shows to market their products and services and network with prospects, clients and colleagues. If that strategy works for your business, here are four Best Practices to help you maximize your trade show experience, ROI and value.
1. Work Your Booth
- Stand in front of your booth and warmly greet people passing by.
- Don’t eat or sit – you came to work.
- Don’t chat with booth mates when you could be chatting with prospects.
2. Ask Good Questions
- Ask brief, focused questions like “What do you do?” … “Do you use (service or product you provide)?” … “Who provides it now?”… “Would you like some information on our (service or product)?”
- Ask for their cards and wait for them to ask for yours. Don’t just stuff one in their bag.
3. Use Smart Raffle Items
- Do you want a lot of cards in your fish bowl because people are interested in your service or product or because they want to win the ball game tickets, free dinner or fruit basket?
- If you raffle off a sample of your service or product, you may get fewer cards, but will they be from more interested prospects?
- If you use imprinted give-aways, offer people things they’ll use for a while and remember your name – like pencils, nice pens or post-it notes.
- Candy always works – it’s inexpensive, easy and you can always eat the leftovers. But, forget the hard candy. Chocolate rules!
4. Follow Up Is Critical
- Follow up with interested prospects quickly. A call or e-mail works better than sending out a lot of marketing material first.
- Ask people what they’d like to see and then send it. You’ll save time and money on un-requested material that just winds up in the trash.
With a lot of thought and a little effort, you can make a great first impression, network like a pro and earn a strong ROI at trade shows. Be successful. Be very successful.