Trade Show Secrets Revealed

Recently a tour operator came up to me at a conference and said, “If I hear one more word about new sheets or a special exhibit, I’m going to scream.”

This made me think about how painful it would be to sit through more than a hundred of these 7-minute meetings if every one of them sounded the same. 

We came up with three proven pointers to help you better engage the operator and build the relationship you need to boost your ROI.

Ask a meaningful question. You’ve got two options in an appointment – talk about everything your organization has or ask a great question so the operator can tell you what they need from you. As salespeople, our first reaction is to make a pitch; that gets boring. Start instead with a probing question like, “What do you like best about your favorite [hotel, museum, show, city, etc.]?” or “What’s the best thing a supplier has done this year to help you impress a group?” or “What are you looking for from an organization like mine?” or “How can we be a part of your best tour next year?” This will get the operator talking about what’s important to them and you can match your conversation to suit their needs.

Share something personal. It’s much easier to do business with someone you can relate to. Here’s your chance to make a meaningful business move and a new friend in the process. Don’t be afraid to open up a bit personally and help the buyer feel more comfortable doing business with you. Some of my best business relationships started by sharing a humorous story about my dog, mismatched shoes, kitchen accident, etc. Suddenly I wasn’t just another guy making a pitch, I was someone they could relate to.

The last of these three pointers is our personal favorite. 

Take a booth break. If you already know the operator, they may appreciate a few minutes to stretch their legs, get a soft drink or grab a snack. Use your 7 minutes to walk-n-talk. This shows the operator that you care about their wellbeing as much as you do about their business. You can still mention the highlights, new features & key talking points AND you’ll stand out as the appointment they had that wasn’t like all of the others.

Mentoring, training and representation programs are offered by Fire Starter Brands help suppliers reach more buyers. For more information, click here.