Friday, December 13, 2013

Before the Show: Train Your Team

Your success at a home show is highly dependent on your overall team performance. You have put hours into designing your booth, creating a strategy, printing handouts... Now it is time to invest in your team. They are at the front of the line and representing you to potential customers. Explain to staff who are working the booth in detail what you hope to accomplish at the show and what you expect from each person. A kick-off meeting can inspire people and help them understand your expectations and goals before the show opens. Action ideas may include:

  • Determine the sales process - a team selling approach is best.
  • Share the content of your pre-show promotions so your team can reference them and react to booth visitors in a positive and knowledgeable manner.
  • Explain how the overall success of the show will be measured.
A common problem encountered by many exhibitors is sales team related. Many salespeople are focused on their own niche: one geographical location, product, or customer type. As a result, they may be reluctant to engage in conversations with prospects from outside their focus. It's best to implement a process for them to collect and pass along ALL leads from attendees. Make sure they are considering long term sales leads and not only orders closed during the event. These issues should be addressed and staff trained accordingly. Open lines of communication between your sales and marketing staff will help ensure the appropriate follow-up with all the leads you collect.

Hold daily morale-building and debriefing sessions where staff members can talk about accomplishments and concerns. Consider recognizing the most valuable team player of the day – someone who went above and beyond.  Offer individualized positive feedback so staff members know you appreciate their efforts. A simple “thank you” goes a long way.

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