Trade Show Training #3: Managing Your Booth Visitors’ Expectations

Key Points
First, understand what a visitor might ask for from you that could potentially waste your time or get them frustrated.
Second, know how to manage these expectations. Especially how much time you can spend with them depending upon how busy it is.
Third, if you’re polite and reasonable, visitors will agree to just about anything.

Visitor’s expectations to manage include your:

Time

  1. Depending upon how busy the booth is, or how busy it will get, you may not be able to spend the amount of time with a visitor that they planned on. To manage their time expectation, you first need to find out what they want to hear about. Then estimate how long you can spend with them. Take into account:
  2. How big the opportunity is with this visitor (spend as much time with huge clients as needed).
  3. How busy the booth is.
  4. How long it will take to discuss their area of interest.
  5. Then say something like, “Let me take five or ten minutes and show you our new product.” That’s all it take to manage their time expectation. Then after five or ten minutes, it’s your choice whether to continue or not depending upon if the booth got busier or less busy.

One-on-one face-time

  1. If your conversation with a visitor started off as one-on-one conversation, they may think it will continue that way no matter what. If other visitors begin to wait for you to finish, you may want to invite them into your conversation (but not always). To do this politely, you need to ask permission of the visitor your currently talking with and tell them why you want to do this.

Accessibility

  1. The visitor may not get to speak with the person they’re asking for, or with the person who can answer their question. You choices are:
  2. To get a message to that person.
  3. If they’re at the show but not in the booth to call them right in front of the visitor and ask them if they can come over to the booth.
  4. Get them to someone else with the ability and/or expertise to speak with them.

Knowledge

  1. You may not be able to answer the visitor’s question or know enough about a particular product or service. Your choices are:
  2. To get the visitor to one of your colleagues who can help them.
  3. To commit to get back to them later (preferably while the show is still going on). If possible, get their mobile number.
  4. Authority
  5. You may not have the authority to grant a requested exception, make a decision, etc. If it’s appropriate, without putting your colleague (and maybe even your boss) on-the-spot, get them to someone in higher authority.

For more information on The Hill Group’s Trade Show Training, click here.
Eight Trade Show Training Tips
Be prepared: Know your role, know your demo
•     You represent the entire company to every visitor
•    Know what else were doing at the show; sponsorships, events, etc.
Be on time: Don’t be late and don’t wander off
•    It costs your company about $700 per hour for you to be in the booth. Honor your schedule, be on time, be in the booth for entire shift.
• If you need to leave the booth, let us know so we can cover for you
Be approachable: Don’t give any visitor any reason not to approach you
•    Don’t stand in circles and talk with your colleagues
•    No eating, drinking, talking on the phone, or reading. Visitors will not interrupt you.
Be ready::
• Your 30-second “elevator answer”
• Some qualifying questions
Manage your time: Be in control of how much time you spend with visitors
• When the booth is busy, have shorter conversations
Don’t make visitors wait:
• Acknowledge waiting visitors
• Add waiting visitors to your conversation
It’s okay to interrupt: There are no private conversations in the booth
• Interrupt politely and ask how long your colleague will be
• Ask permission to add a visitor to an on-going conversation
End the conversation: 3 ways to end a conversation
• Generate a lead
• Escort them to another part of the booth
• Dismiss them

For more information on The Hill Group’s Trade Show Training, click here.

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Trade Show Training #2: Booth Visitors’ Expectation

Key Points
1. Know what most visitors expect. Draw from your own experience as a trade show visitor.
2. Be ready to manage their expectations.

A lot of the visitors you’ll be working with are veteran trade show attendees and they will probably  have the following expectations when they enter your booth:

1. They’ll be able to talk to you for as long as they want to or until they run out of questions.
This should not be the case. You should decide how much time to spend with a visitor depending upon how busy is it, if the visitor is qualified, etc. When you decide how much time is going to be needed with a visitor, let them know. You can say something like, “Let me take five or six minutes and tell you all about our new product.”
2. Even if they have to wait, they’ll be able to have one-on-one conversations.
Not necessarily true or productive for you. If the booth gets busy, you should politely point this out to the visitor you’re speaking with and ask them if it’s okay to invite other waiting visitors into your conversation.
3. All of their questions will be answered completely. This may not be true if:
You don’t know the answer to the question.
You shouldn’t answer the question (like a question about future, unannounced products).
The answer might take too long based on how qualified the visitor is and how congested the booth is.
4. They’ll get a free T-shirt, water bottle, tool set, cap, etc. This may or may not be true depending upon:
If there is anything left to give away.
If the visitor needed to bring in something to redeem for the give away.
If they’re just a booth-beggar with no hope of ever becoming a customer. (If they argue with you, don’t make it a customer service issue, just give them the cheapest giveaway and move on to a more productive interaction.)
Or, if the visitor wants three items (because they have three children) you may want to hold off on giving more than one until the end of the show. Ask them to come back then.
5. They expect to walk up and receive an invitation to your company-sponsored invitation only party where the invitations were sent out weeks ago.
If this visitor is one you want at the party, you should have a few extra invitations around to save for these special high-quality visitors. Otherwise, you should politely explain the situation to a visitor you wish to deny an invitation to. Maybe finish by saying, “but it often happens that we have some cancellations, so if you’d like to check with us again, maybe the situation will have changed.”

For more information on The Hill Group’s Trade Show Training, click here.

Eight Trade Show Training Tips
Be prepared: Know your role, know your demo
• You represent the entire company to every visitor
• Know what else were doing at the show; sponsorships, events, etc.
Be on time: Don’t be late and don’t wander off
• It costs your company about $700 per hour for you to be in the booth. Honor your schedule, be on time, be in the booth for entire shift.
• If you need to leave the booth, let us know so we can cover for you
Be approachable: Don’t give any visitor any reason not to approach you
• Don’t stand in circles and talk with your colleagues
• No eating, drinking, talking on the phone, or reading. Visitors will not interrupt you.
Be ready::
• Your 30-second “elevator answer”
• Some qualifying questions
Manage your time: Be in control of how much time you spend with visitors
• When the booth is busy, have shorter conversations
Don’t make visitors wait:
• Acknowledge waiting visitors
• Add waiting visitors to your conversation
It’s okay to interrupt: There are no private conversations in the booth
• Interrupt politely and ask how long your colleague will be
• Ask permission to add a visitor to an on-going conversation
End the conversation: 3 ways to end a conversation
• Generate a lead
• Escort them to another part of the booth
• Dismiss them

For more information on The Hill Group’s Trade Show Training, click here.

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Trade Show Training #1: The Opportunity

Trade shows are both face-to-face marketing and sales opportunities. Often, it’s the only time potential and existing customers can talk face-to-face with people from your company.
And this opportunity doesn’t come cheap. If you do the calculation and figure out how much it costs to have your booth open every hour of the show it can be thousands – or tens of thousands of dollars per hour.
To take advantage of the opportunity presented by a trade show, check out the following trade show training tips. And for more information on The Hill Group’s Trade Show Training, click here.
Trade shows offer a unique selling and marketing environment:
• Products and services are on display.
• The right people are available to discuss them.
• There are usually some management and/or executives available.

Trade shows are prospect-rich.
• What would take you a whole day in the field (making three or four good sales calls) can be accomplished in an hour at a trade show.
• If you’re exhibiting at the right shows, you can generate enough qualified leads to keep you busy for the next three-to-six months – if you apply your trade show training skills and techniques.
Help make the trade show successful.
• Refresh yourself on some key trade show training tips and techniques.
• Ensure the success of your own efforts by preparing for the show by knowing your demonstration, products, corporate message, etc.
• Know what’s in the booth – visitors expect you be their concierge.
• Understand how to assemble a complete solution for qualified visitors.
Eight Trade Show Training Tips
1. Be prepared: Know your role, know your demo
•     You represent the entire company to every visitor
•    Know what else were doing at the show; sponsorships, events, etc.
2. Be on time: Don’t be late and don’t wander off
•    It costs your company about $700 per hour for you to be in the booth. Honor your schedule, be on time, be in the booth for entire shift.
• If you need to leave the booth, let us know so we can cover for you
3. Be approachable: Don’t give any visitor any reason not to approach you
•    Don’t stand in circles and talk with your colleagues
•    No eating, drinking, talking on the phone, or reading. Visitors will not interrupt you.
4. Be ready::
• Your 30-second “elevator answer”
• Some qualifying questions
5. Manage your time: Be in control of how much time you spend with visitors
• When the booth is busy, have shorter conversations
6. Don’t make visitors wait:
• Acknowledge waiting visitors
• Add waiting visitors to your conversation
7. It’s okay to interrupt: There are no private conversations in the booth
• Interrupt politely and ask how long your colleague will be
• Ask permission to add a visitor to an on-going conversation
8. End the conversation: 3 ways to end a conversation
• Generate a lead
• Escort them to another part of the booth
• Dismiss them

For more information on The Hill Group’s Trade Show Training, click here.

Read More