If you can handle the process of exhibiting at trade shows in your sleep, this information is right up your alley. After all, you’ve done this about a thousand times (or at least that’s how it feels) and so has your team. But, are you seeing the results you’re expecting from these trade shows? If not, you might be forgetting to pack one more essential item in your trade show display crate – charisma.
It might not be what you think about when designing your marketing strategies or figuring out how to handle lead generation at a show, but person-to-person charisma can transcend even the most powerful sales techniques. Here’s a look at how to inject some charm into your trade show strategy, and teach your trade show staff how to be a better salesman or woman.
Rally Around Shared Messaging
In order to feel comfortable enough to have natural conversations with trade show visitors, you and your team need to feel confident in what you’re selling. They need to know the products or services inside and out and what benefits you provide to each type of customer. They also need to be well-versed on the most frequently asked questions and how to answer them.
If you can work with your team to have the bullet points of your solutions on quick recall in their minds, they’ll be far more likely to relax enough to exude some charisma with the strangers that stop by the booth. If not, they’ll be stressed and sound canned, robotic, or worse – confused. Invite your team to role play in the office before you head to the next show, have someone be the person manning the booth and another playing the part of a prospect; switch roles. Get creative, and try numerous scenarios to keep everyone on their toes.
Another idea is to have each person jot down a relevant story or example that is connected to every possible topic that might come up in conversation with a prospect. This will give you fall-back anecdotes to draw from if a conversation has stalled.
It’s About Them, Not You
As with most sales techniques, remember that every person who visits your booth cares more about their own self-interests than they do about you and your goal to make sales. It might sound cold, but knowing this can take the pressure off and help you refocus your approach to be all about them.
Ask questions about their role at their company, their company’s growth, and the problems they regularly face. Make sure all of your team members are well-trained to use eye contact, practice active listening, and weave in some humor when they can. Also, teach your team to notice things they have in common. For example, if someone is wearing a Phoenix Suns hat and you’re from Phoenix – mention it! Or if you notice someone’s New Jersey accent and your parents are from there, bring that up. People love to feel noticed and to share genuine connections with others.
Exercise Your Charisma
Finally, give your sales team plenty of opportunities to practice their charisma on one another. Especially if you have folks on your team who are shy or introverted, give them tools that draw them out of their shells. You can also pair up your more reserved employees with the more extroverted ones so you have a good mix of personalities at your booth.
Even if you have the best products or services in the world, you won’t sell anything unless your team knows how to connect with people and tap into their emotions. Give these tips a try and see if your trade shows start becoming more fruitful for you in terms of sales. And as always, contact us if you’re interested in trade show marketing and booth displays.