Common Trade-show Mistakes

from Trade-show Trauma by Dan Seidman
Advantages Magazine - March 2008

1) Sitting in Booths
That's a fine welcome for the prospect! Often some of the sitters are non-salespeople who get wrangled into working the show. The others are probably reps who partied a bit too late the night before.

2) Standing Behind Barriers
Some booths are simply designed wrong. Is selling about building walls or is it about breaking them down or going around them? Get out there!

3) Acting Like Carnival Barkers
They shout and wave brochures at passersby, hoping they'll stop and play with them.

4) Asking "Can I help You?"
Never ask a question that can be answered with the word "No." Ask a unique opening question that puts the visitor at ease, or better yet, a question that qualifies the visitor.

5) Using the Wrong People
Many booth workers are assistants or administrative people that don't understand the sales process. Put your best people in the booth.

6) Not Recognizing Time Wasters
People who have no intention  of doing business with you but love to chat take your time away from real potential customers. This is a qualifying issue. How quickly can you assess the value of a visitor before investing too much time talking?

7) They Don't Follow Up
Even the best leads are worthless if there is no follow up. If you don't follow up immediately after the show you might as well take your trade-show money to the gaming tables and skip the investment in an exhibit.