Friday, February 14, 2014

At the Show: Welcome Visitors to Your Booth

Once you are set up and the show opens it's time to interact with the customers that enter your booth. Plan at least three unique greetings that do not have a "Yes" or "No" answer. Look people directly in the eye when introducing yourself and/or your company and prepare a thirty second introduction about your company, products, or services.

Let Show Attendees Browse
When show attendees enter your booth, make them feel welcome. Tell them you are there to answer any questions they have and then let them browse in comfort. Remember not to be a "vulture" and swoop down on them as soon as they make eye contact as a hard sell often drives people away.

Show Etiquette
When you are assigned booth duty at any show remember that you are on display along with your company's products. You are a selected representative of the company and are on duty to meet, sell, educate, inform, and service customers and prospects.

A few simple rules of good salesmanship to follow when it's your turn to work the booth:

  • It's hard to talk to a customer when you are out of breath from rushing. Allow yourself about 15 minutes in the booth before you go on duty to become familiar with the surroundings
  • Realize that the show provides the unique opportunity to talk to a customer on your turf where you control the environment.
  • Invest in comfortable shoes. Booth staff should be on their feet and ready to greet visitors, not sitting in a corner resting.
  • Visit with other company personnel after the show. Customers may be reluctant to disturb a salesperson who is already engaged in a conversation.
  • Please do not bring any food into the booth during the show. Visitors will not like to interrupt a person in the middle of their lunch.
  • If you can not answer visitor questions, be prepared to refer customers to the proper source. If no one is available, get the customer's name, address, and phone number to get back to them at a later date.
  • Have a genuine interest in visitors needs rather than waiting for a them to ask you a question.
  • Don't "pounce" and frighten visitors away.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Keep the booth neat and clean by placing any personal belongings in a storage area or in the show's checkroom.
  • Disappearing acts are great on stage, but you should always inform your fellow staff members when you leave the booth. Let them know when you will return and be prompt.
  • Everyone likes attention, but not bad attention. Please keep any music or booth noise at a minimum so as not to annoy your neighbors.
  • Dress appropriately for doing business as you want to ensure confidence in your customers.
  • Take a deep breath and SMILE! When the show is busy and you are rushed off your feet don't think of it as a negative, now is your time to shine. You never know, the next person you speak with may be your biggest customer.
First Impressions Count
Every visitor who enters your booth is making immediate decisions about your company and sales staff. When chatting with you about their needs, they are deciding if you are trustworthy and if they should do business with you. When working your booth, following the best practices above will allow you to put your best foot forward when dealing with the public.

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