Dear Mr. Hill:
You have commented about what not to do when you stand booth duty. Since I will be doing a few trade shows in my territory, please give me some pointers of what I should look for when I am asking/requesting people for stand booth duty.
Jim, Sales Manager
Standing booth duty is hard work, but the return on your effort can be tremendous. The opportunity to generate more sales opportunities in a three day show that you can in 6 months to a year working from your office, should be enough to get anyone interested. But the problem is most sales types don’t look at it like that. They only see that they are going to be away from their family, friends and clients for three days. You want someone who is a good listener, a person that can ask the qualifying questions without jumping to conclusions. A good person in the booth is enthusiastic, positive, dressed to do business, qualifies rather than sells, and gives the attendees the impression that he or she is happy to be here and able to serve you. When you have people like that in your booth, you will come away with a number of qualified sales opportunities.
To your continued trade show success
John Hill, Trade Show Coach
Many Exhibitors still use the simple form that is given to them by the show producer that contains nothing but the attendees name and title, telephone # and Company name.
A company, especially a technical company, needs to develop a Qualification form that has been approved by departments within the organization such as software, engineering, field service and networking so that when the prospect is qualified, and it is a viable opportunity the salesperson doesn’t have to go back to the prospect time and again to finalize on the requirements.
Discussion needs to take place with the different departments within an organization so that they all are part of the qualifying sequence. What you don’t want is to have someone from engineering or software come back to you after you are ready to visit the prospect, and turn that person into a client, that I need to know this or that. It is frustrating for the people in the different departments, but even more of a problem to the sales person who wants to close, and get an order from this prospect.
The Qualification form should flow, and ask key questions that will give the person taking the information a definite understanding that this prospect representing this xyz company is a good candidate who has the financial capability to purchase your product or service. The form should already have answers listed so that it is easy for the qualifying person to simply check off the correct response. If the qualifying sequence is done correctly it should take less than 5 minutes.
How many attendees can you qualify at a trade show if you are efficient, and have an effective qualifying form?
The Qualification form is getting more sophisticated. Many companies have turned to handheld devices manufactured by companies like Symbol Technology. As the questions come up on the screen, and you enter the data, another question is shown on the screen. Depending how you respond to the questions, it may generate another series of questions that brings the person being qualified as close to a commitment as possible, without actually getting an order.