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Archive for April, 2011

If you’re exhibiting at a trade show, you want attendees to visit your booth. You want to attract attendees, deliver your marketing or sales message and you want those who are truly interested in what you have to offer into your booth to talk in more depth with your reps.

That is how you increase ROI and go back to your office with a feeling of “mission accomplished.” Those are results that your boss can look at and use to verify why your company goes to shows – and why you still have a job. 

Without a large ROI, sure, your company may go to a show just to be seen, but do they need you? Just having a “presence” is a waste of corporate dollars. I have seen large booths with no attendees in them and the trade show manager will say, “We aren’t here for leads. We just are here to be seen.” What? You don’t need to be a certified trade show manager or even anyone with a college degree to get those results. You just need to be a warm body.

Bottom line: If you’re not at a trade show to let attendees know what you have and why they need it, then you shouldn’t be at the show. How do you know if your competitor’s clients are unhappy and maybe looking for a change? You can wait for them to “drop in” to your booth, but is that “going after the competition?” Isn’t “going after the customer” what the Director of Sales preaches to his or her sales team?

All corporations are focused on improving the bottom line and getting qualified attendees into your booth to hear what you have to offer and giving those attendees “face time” with reps or product managers is what improves that bottom line and you can’t get that with an empty booth.

Just having a booth and waiting for attendees to “drop by” and maybe scan their card for a prize is just a waste of time and money. Is there any trade show manager who doesn’t dread hearing the question, “Why are we at this show?” or “Do we get any leads at this show and are they any good?”(And then the marketing department wonders why their trade show budget has been cut and why “trade shows” at their company are viewed so poorly. It’s because you aren’t showing a ROI.)

You need to create a “buzz” about your booth. Now, there are a few ways to do that and using trade show magicians is one of the most highly proven ways of achieving a “buzz” at a show.

But, you need to be careful as to which trade show magician you engage. Many magicians will tell you that they are trade show magicians, but they are not. There is only a small of handful of professional trade show magicians – entertainers who specialize in trade shows. (Hint: See if their testimonials line up with all the corporate logos they have on their site. BTW: Who gave them permission to use those logos? Also, do they still work birthday parties? Are their clients major corporations or just local businesses?)

As a trade show magician with nearly 30 years of experience working in a variety of industries, I can tell you that my clients believe in a proactive approach to gaining mind share and generating quality leads from the shows at which they exhibit. Trade show managers enjoy reaping the benefits of having the booth with “all the buzz.” There is not a single trade show manager that doesn’t love having the booth that everyone is talking about. Sales managers and sales directors love to see me load up their booth with qualified attendees who want more information. Sales reps jump over backwards when they get to go back to their office with a high number of quality leads that they can follow-up on and turn into sales. That is major ROI.

If you are looking to increase your trade show ROI and want a proactive approach to doing so, my trade show magician video shows what I can do for your company. Using trade show magicians to help you increase trade show ROI and the “buzz” about your booth at a show will work, you just have to make sure you get the right one.

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Originally posted on Jan. 2011 at funnymotivationalspeaker.wordpress.com

Having worked as a trade show magician for nearly 30 years, I know the amount of stress that trade show managers face when trying to get sales reps to actively participate at a show.

The trade show manager and marketing personnel have put together a great exhibit. The booth looks fantastic and delivers the company message. You have the pre-show meeting where you tell all the reps what is expected and then when the doors open… the reps stand around and talk to one another, play with their phones or laptops, and wait for someone to amble into the booth. (Sound familiar?) 

Worse, they only want to talk to “real buyers” and only buyers of “their particular product” or “their sales area.” The result? A low ROI, a frustrated trade show manager and marketing director, and questions as to whether trade shows are really worth the money.

Firstly, trade shows are worth the money, because any time you can get a group of potential buyers or persuaders together, relationships are made or strengthened and sales can be made. (You can’t create the same “feeling” from a webinar or teleconference – but that’s for another article.) 

Secondly, you suffer from a low ROI – not to mentioned frustrated marketing managers, trade show managers, and event managers – because your sales force may know how to sell in the field, but few know how to sell on the trade show floor. 

What follows sounds simple, yet few reps actually do it. So, regardless of your level of trade show experience, here are just a few things on which sales reps need to focus at a trade show:

1) Stop looking for low hanging fruit. By low hanging fruit, I mean waiting for attendees to come to you. Get out of your booth and step into the aisles. Hold some info or DVD/CDs in your hand and engage attendees, as they walk down the aisles. You can say, “If you’re interested in (a brief sentence of what your product does), we can help you out.” Or you can say, “Are you interested in (insert above sentence)?” Engage the attendee. Smile and be friendly. 

When someone does walk in the booth, halt your conversation with your fellow rep about where to go to dinner and talk to the attendee. Introduce yourself and ask them, “What can I help you with?” Which leads me to…

2) It’s a team approach. If an attendee is not from your region or is interested in another product you don’t cover, take the attendee to the rep who can benefit from the conversation with that attendee. Sales reps aren’t necessarily “team players.” Companies love to talk about “teamwork” and then honor the individuals who have made more sales than others with prizes, cash, etc.

That’s why “teamwork” must be stressed at the pre-show meeting. Reps can help each other do more business at the show, which aids everyone. If a fellow rep won’t reciprocate, then you can stop sharing the leads with that rep. But more likely than not, your fellow rep will return the favor, if not there, at sometime in the future.

3) Get your mind off the close. Reps are focused, rightly so, on closing deals. However, at trade shows you have to relax and distance yourself from the close and work more on the “relationships” aspect, as well as educating potential customers. Why? Basic psychology: Right now, people are nervous and anxious and they can sense the same from other people. People will always gravitate to someone who is calm and relaxed, especially if they themselves are not. If you are relaxed and focused on relationships and educating the attendee, the attendee will respond with calmness and be more open to your ideas and suggestions.

Bottom line: Trade shows are the undisputed king of relationship building and the on-site, real-time education of large number of customers. As mentioned, webinars and teleconferencing are fine and have their place, but real face time and hands-on demos still and always will beat a flat screen and a dark conference room.

By being proactive at a show, you expand your opportunities. Expanding your opportunities will increase your productivity. You increase the amount of leads in your pipeline and help to generate a higher ROI from the show not only for you, but also for the whole company. In turn, this gives your marketing team the help they need to continue to help you.

These 3 tips for selling at a trade show will help trade show managers and event managers get their sales reps focused on being more proactive and more productive on the show floor, which increases ROI and justifies the marketing expense. 

As a trade show magician, my job is to bring you traffic so that your reps can do their job. To see how I am able to help you create a “buzz” about your booth, bring in quality leads and increase your ROI, watch the video below:

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