You’ve created a great looking booth but that’s not even half the battle. With so many companies competing for the time and attention of attendees, it’s your booth staff who will make the biggest difference between the success or failure of your trade show participation.
So where do you start when choosing your Trade Show ‘A Team’?
2 Critical personality types will make up your most effective booth staff:
These will most likely be extroverts & are already savvy salespeople, not afraid of rejection. These should work the front of your booth to be proactive and invite people in. Done the right way, potential customers can be enticed into your booth. Your hunters will not be shy in coming forward and engaging with customers, while standing up with open arms and a big welcoming smile.
The hunters need to provide their full attention to visitors passing the stand. Once a potential customer takes the bait, hunters will quickly engage and draw out information so they can identify and address the needs of their catch. They should be good listeners who can direct prospects to the right products without wasting their time. At this point they can introduce them to the representatives who will guide them through an e-catalog with detailed product specs and photos.
These are your customer champions. They know how to nurture a relationship with customers and make them feel welcome and important. Trade shows are a great opportunity to meet and re-engage with existing customers who want to see what’s new, and customer champs will dedicate their full attention to them because they know how to build relationships and create valuable customer experiences.
Order takers should have a seating area available for meeting with customers. The area should be comfortable and have light refreshments available to encourage longer conversations. This is their chance to really connect with the customer, make them feel welcome and reinforce how important their business is to you.
Help order takers Improve customer experience by using a mobile sales app to show new products and old favorites. Orders can be taken quickly and easily via an interactive e-catalog on your tablet, at the touch of a button. The customer does not have to waste time going through paper catalogs. Make sure the trade show app has off-line capabilities so that even with the notoriously bad Wi-Fi at trade shows will not affect the customer experience.
The next step is Identifying the right people for each group
You have to first know your employees and understand their strengths and weaknesses. What are the characteristics you’re looking for to be able to attract and engage with booth visitors? What skill sets are essential to be able to satisfy the different needs of booth visitors. Depending on your product/service, you may feel that in addition to sales people, it would be valuable to have a technical person on the team to provide demos and answer technical questions.
Experience is important
A trade show is a unique sales opportunity so make sure your strongest sales people are there. Experienced sales reps — preferably those who have been to a trade show or two in the past — will be your among your best candidates.
Trade shows are fast paced and attendees want to get as much as possible out of them which generally means their time is extremely limited. You will only have a short time, three minutes or less to make an impression and get your message across. Your booth staff need to be instantly engaging, informative, well briefed and have the answers visitors need. However, you shouldn’t reject the idea of enlisting a staff member who lacks the experience but possesses all the qualities you are looking for. Invest in proper training and practice to prepare the staff for the show.
The staff at your booth represents your company so you’ll want to enlist the most enthusiastic and positive people you have.They are the ones who will be able to attract visitors to your booth and translate their excitement to close more deals. Look for seasoned salespeople who actually want to be at the trade show. Motivation is key for this type of event, and it creates a positive experience for visitors who interact with your staff.
Define and communicate your expectations
What are your goals for each person on the floor? How many new clients do you hope to acquire?
Determine your objectives for the trade show and ensure each member of the staff knows which role they play. They should be aware of the goals, whether it’s promoting a certain product, increasing the number of qualified leads, or simply selling.
Train and practice
Trade shows are different to other sales environments, so consider providing training specifically for trade show sales. This will ensure they have the necessary skills and help them build the confidence they need to stand out from the crowd while also delivering the company’s message. You can use the services of trade show specialists to empower your staff with simulations and real-world interactions.
Accomplishing your goals at trade shows and ensuring the best possible experience for customers and potential customers, depends on having the right balance between Hunters & Order Takers. Select the right people for these positions and we’re confident you’ll win at the booth.
For additional tips for trade show success view 12 Killer Tactics for Trade Show Success