Here’s the thing. I attend several trade shows per year, and mostly I find a lack of engagement to a degree that’s alarming. I wrote about my experience at one show here, How to Engage Prospects at a Trade Show.  I’d recommend taking a minute and reading this post before we go on. I’ll wait.

First Engage

Okay, so you read the story about the electrical contractor’s booth, right? Unfortunately, that’s what I find the overwhelming majority of the time from trade show staff, an almost complete lack of engagement. That’s where this story begins. The staff has to engage prospects, not sit at the back of the booth on their phone waiting for someone to ask them a question that’s not how to talk to prospects at a trade show.

Do You Know What Most Folks Want to Talk about?

What do people want to talk about? I’ll give you a clue, it’s not you.

The conversation begins by engaging prospects. Allowing people to walk by your booth without a simple greeting is a strategy for failure. However, even when staff does engage prospects they often take a dead-end approach. I’ll explain.

What do people want to talk about? Do you think they want to talk about you and your product? Maybe, but even when they want to talk about your product they don’t want a spiel or need to know your FAB (Feature Advantage Benefit) sales pitch, they want you to get to the B – benefit. What it does for them and how it will solve their problem. People want to talk about their needs, not yours. They want answers to problems, not a sales pitch.

Be a Problem Solver

Similar to the questions I asked the electrical contractor prospects, focus the conversation on the client’s needs

  • What products and services were you most interested in?
  • What problems are you currently having?
  • Why did you attend this show, what did you hope to find?
  • What are your most significant challenges?
  • What do you want a product to do for you?

Solve Problems

Step one of how to talk to trade show prospects is to engage them. As I said, 90 percent of the trade show booths I visit fail this test. If you and your staff are not greeting prospects, if you’re not opening a conversation then the rest of what I’ve shared here doesn’t matter. However, once you’ve learned to greet and engage prospects, you can rise above the competition by asking prospects what problems they have and how you can help them. It’s that simple.

So, what problems do you have at trade shows? Leave me a comment I’d be happy to help.

Photo Credit: Author: Brentano fabrics ID: 7298784824 Provider: Flickr