While exhibitions are an exciting and excellent way to build relationships with potential customers, they can often be overwhelming and demanding. Not only are you selling in a densely competitive environment, but there are also tons of distractions keeping prospects away from your stand. From lights, videos, graphics and interesting freebies, there’s a ton to contend with when attracting visitors to your stand. Yet, a good first impression is vital to attracting traffic and getting you noticed. It can really mean the difference between foot traffic stopping by to learn more or quickly running past your booth while trying to avoid eye contact. Here are the dos and don’ts to presenting your best self at a trade show so you can invite traffic instead of deterring it.
- How to Attract Visitors Using Icebreakers
- How to Engage Visitors Using Icebreakers
- The Dos & Don’ts of Attracting Exhibition Vistors
How to Attract Exhibitions Visitors Using Icebreakers
With limited time to start a conversation with exhibition visitors, it’s important to get your icebreakers right the first time. Start by following these dos and don’ts of starting a conversation with exhibition visitors:
- Don’t judge visitors based on clothes or how they look, instead focus on what they seem to be interested in
- Don’t ask open-ended questions – questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no”
- Don’t ask non-business related questions: How’re you doing today? How’s the weather? Have you had lunch?
- Don’t be robotic in your tone of voice.
- Do smile, make eye contact and be confident in your tone when asking questions.
- Do come across as sincerely interested in their needs, not just waiting to pitch.
- Do be ready with follow-up questions once you get their attention
How to Engage Visitors Using Icebreakers
The success of an ice break relies more on how you ask the question instead of the question you ask.
When a visitor approaches and appears interested in a product, graphic, or something on the stand, start the conversation with one of these icebreakers:
- What have you heard about our product?
- How are you currently dealing with the challenge of [problem your solution solves]?
- What caught your attention?
- What attracted you to our stand?
The trick is to keep the questions simple and non-threatening. Follow up your opening question by introducing yourself and asking another question to keep the conversation going: “Hi, I’m Ahmad. What do you know about our product?” or “Hi, I’m Ahmad. What are you looking for at the exhibition?”
The Dos & Don’ts of Attracting Exhibition Vistors
Not only does it cost absolutely nothing – smiling helps people to perceive you as authentically cheerful, outgoing and easily approachable.
Stand Around the Perimeter of your Stand
It would help if you always positioned yourself on the booth’s perimeter with an open, approachable look. A smile and a ‘hello’ are simple actions that many take for granted but are actually the tiny catalysts that move visitors from just briefly looking at your booth to standing in the booth, taking a good look around and chatting with you.
Proactively make an effort to speak to as many people as possible – you want visitors to know you’re enthusiastic about being there!
Gather Content for Social Media
During the exhibition, take photos of staff in action and your stand full of people for use on social media and for future marketing efforts. Your goal is to attract visitors to future days or shows and to show how in-demand your product or service is.
Huddle with Co-Workers
If foot traffic is slow, it’s important to resist the temptation to strike up a conversation with your colleagues. Nothing is more off-putting to a potential stand visitor than a group of co-workers in a huddle. By doing this, you’re giving the message that you’re preoccupied – too busy to help and, even worse, not interested to help. Huddling with co-workers is the fastest way to deter visitors to your stand.
Sitting down, lounging or relaxing around your exhibition stand will drop the level of professionalism you’ve tried so hard to display. You’ll appear disengaged and will struggle to make meaningful eye contact with interested passers-by. If you have to sit down, choose a high stool that allows eye-level contact.
Be a Phone Zombie
Resist the urge to check or play on your phone when foot traffic is low. If you’re bored, find a prospect to engage and have a conversation with and leave your phone in your bag – far away from temptation.
While you want to have enough staff to handle the high-traffic periods, there’s a delicate balance between having the right amount and having too many. When a stand is overstaffed and crowded, it will actually discourage people from visiting – especially when social distancing measures are still commonplace.
If there are too many of your team at the stand, send them out to check out competitors or engage with visitors at networking events or talks.
Communication is vital when asking for a sale because it’s the foundation of rapport and understanding. If you can’t directly ask your prospect for what you want, they won’t be able to reply how you want them to.
That’s why you should never retreat to using vague language; not only will your prospect probably become confused, but their patience will wear thin, again potentially costing you the sale that you could have made had you said, “would you like to sign?”
- How to Stand Apart from the Competition
- How To Find Your Business Niche
- Quick Tip: How To Overcome Objections From Satisfied Prospects
Ready to Get Noticed, Engage Visitors and Increase sales?
Preparing, attending and presenting at trade shows is a sizeable undertaking that requires a favourable return on investment.
Yet successfully selling to prospects who face distractions from all sides and often favour your engaging competitors is far more challenging than it seems.
Stand out as a premier exhibitor with the help of our Exhibition & Trade Show Sales Training.
Discover a process for engaging and delighting customers while maximising your exhibition revenue at every opportunity.