Trade shows are routinely one of the key sources of leads for companies across all industries. Companies spend a staggering $24 billion on exhibitions every year. B2B companies in this group also view trade show marketing as their second-most important marketing tactic. And 99% of exhibitors view B2B exhibitions as offering unique value that other marketing channels don’t provide, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research.
But trade shows are competitive. You’re elbow to elbow with your competition, and visitors who visit your trade show booth are also visiting others.
What factors matter the most when it comes to how well your exhibition performs in terms of generating leads or sales? According to research, 85% of your success will come from a source that shouldn’t be surprising: the people who are manning your booth.
How to Get the Most from Your Face-to-Face Interactions
The above statistic shouldn’t be surprising. In face-to-face interactions, how well you engage with a person matters the most when it comes to what that person thinks or feels about you and your brand. This is true in business just as much as it is in life.
Maximizing your chances for success, then, means maximizing how you interact with your trade show visitors when they stop by.
Here are tips you can follow to enhance your face-to-face interactions.
- Be friendly and personable. A person who isn’t either of these things shouldn’t be manning the booth.
- Prepare questions for prospects. You should ask questions of anyone who stops by. Prepare 3-6 questions, with at least some of them about the person themselves.
- Make your visitors feel important. Get them talking about themselves and their roles in the company. This is also good for qualifying leads.
- Make your questions open-ended. Yes or no questions aren’t nearly as helpful. Get them talking by keeping your questions open-ended.
- Know what questions to not ask. Asking “Can I help you?” or “How are you today?” may sound considerate, but they’re also what everyone else asks. Don’t ask anything that’s too pushy, either.
- Let the conversation flow naturally. Don’t force it. Patience is a must. If they’re interested, they’ll give you what you need if you are patient.
- Smile. Often and always.
You’ll want to create a favorable impression. But, you also want to get good business value. Here are tips for doing just that.
- Find out if they’re a decision-maker. If they aren’t, find out who is.
- Ask questions about their timeline. When are they planning on making a decision?
- Ask what their most pressing need is. People will often tell you what worries them the most.
- Offer something of value in exchange for contact information. This should be something you’ve prepared in advance. Tell them you’d like to send them something and explain the value of that material, and get their contact information.
- Record everything. Track everything, like their name, their company, the details of your conversation, and their contact information so you can review later. Find some way to capture this information, even if it’s writing it down as you are having the conversation.
How you handle those crucial face-to-face interactions is critical. You’ll need to have the right attitude and the right lead-capturing processes. The combination of these two will help you get the most of your leads and prepare you for success when you go to follow up and do business with your prospects.