Attributes of a successful trade show staffer

 Your exhibit staff will have the biggest impact on the success of any of your trade shows. After all, trade shows are one of the last remaining venues for face-to-face marketing and selling.

So what attributes do I think make a successful trade show staffer? It’s a long list and some of them may not apply to your booth or marketplace but very few booth staffers are as productive as they can be.

  1. They understand the goals and objectives for each show
    1. Qualified lead generation
    2. Positive visitor experiences
    3. New product introductions
    4. Sales off the show floor
    5. Visitor education
    6. Commitment for follow-up (appointments, phone calls, emails, etc.)
    7. Reinforce position in the marketplace
    8. Partner/Distributor/Customer support
    9. Press and media coverage
  2. They understand the enormous costs and time it takes to participate at a trade show
  3. They understand their roles and responsibilities
    1. They represent the entire company or organization to every visitor
    2. They know they are responsible for working the entire booth, not just an assigned area.
    3. They know what to do differently when the booth is slow, moderately busy, and congested.
    4. They do anything and everything to make the show successful; keeping the booth clean, helping out their colleagues, etc.
  4. They are comfortable at proactively greeting visitors who enter the booth within 15 seconds.
  5. They are comfortable interacting with visitors in the aisle who show interest.
  6. They are prepared with effective opening questions.
  7. They are prepared with elevator (short) answers to general questions like “What’s new?”, “Who are you and why are you here?”, and “What can you tell me about this product/service?”
  8. They are ready with some good qualifying questions that determine the visitor’s
    1. Product or service interest
    2. Role in purchasing decision
    3. Purchasing timeframe
    4. Budget or funding for a purchase
    5. Preferred method of follow-up
  9. They understand how to manage visitors expectations
    1. Length of their booth visit depending upon the value of the visitor and/or how busy the booth is.
    2. That a one-on-one conversation might evolve into a one-to-many conversation.
    3. The availability of product experts, their sales rep, management, etc.
    4. If the visitor’s customer service issue can be resolved in the booth.
  10. From the answers they receive from visitors to their questions, they can tailor their conversation to the appropriate level that is understandable and valued by visitors.
  11. They can determine if the visitor is a time waster, and if so, they can politely dismiss them.
  12. They know how to end any conversation politely and professionally.
  13. They know how to handle competitors, salespeople, booth beggars and other time wasters.
  14. They ask questions before launching into a product or service presentation or demonstration so they can provide a visitor-focused experience.
  15. They know that offering too much detail the visitor probably doesn’t care about is counter-productive.
  16. They know how to present the “So What?”. They do the translation for the visitor; not just offering features but understanding what the visitor values and offering benefits and solutions.
  17. They know how to position your company against any competitors.
  18. They are prepared to handle any objections.
  19. They are prepared to handle any tough or difficult questions that are consistent with their company’s formal positions.
  20. They know how to effectively cross-sell, up-sell, and close for the business, appointment, or phone call.
  21. They are prepared when their major accounts arrive at the booth:
    1. They have specific, achievable objectives for each major account.
    2. They have notified the rest of the exhibit staff as to who they expect so their key accounts can be greeted by name.
    3. They have an agenda for their booth visit prepared in advance; what demonstrations or presentations to set-up, any management or executives to introduce them to, etc.
  22. They know how to politely and professionally invite waiting visitors into a conversation or a presentation.
  23. They understand how to conduct a successful presentation:
    1. They understand their own presenter strengths and weaknesses.
    2. They know how to involve their audience during their presentation or demonstration.
    3. They have mastered key verbal and non-verbal presenter skills; eye contact, gestures, movement, voice modulation, minimizing non-words and other distracting behaviors, and closing for some action or commitment.

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