When you set up shop at a trade show, you will have potential customers walking by all day long. The key to gaining leads, sales and profits is greeting these trade show attendees and getting them interested. The perceived value you provide has to be enough to make somebody want to stop and talk to you. However, it may not be easily understood just by passing your exhibit, unless you have a great show-stopper. If you don't have an exhibit that stops them in their tracks, or even if you do, you will need a way to engage attendees and spark interest.
What Not to Say
There are a few specific greetings you will want to avoid, which include:
- Can I help you?
- How's the show going?
- Hi, how are you?
- Or anything else very general
These types of greetings don't spark interest and they can be asked by anybody. They will not motivate an attendee to find out more about your company.
Better Greeting Choices
Your job, as the exhibitor, is to engage the attendee in meaningful conversation about what you offer. The greeting you provide needs to show professionalism, while being direct and to the point. You only have a limited amount of time to spark interest before they're ready to move on. A few better greeting choices include:
- What type of challenges are you currently facing with product/service X?
- What benefits are you looking for with product/service X?
- Are you presently happy with product/service X?
- How are you working with product/service X?
With an open-ended question, you give the attendee the opportunity to join the conversation and give you a real answer instead of something generic. Make sure you not only use an excellent greeting, but also listen to what they say. In fact, the standard rule is to listen 80% of the time and only talk 20% of the time.
Along with your greeting, you want to add a handshake or use the person’s name, if possible. Remember, the name will often be on their badge. By adding a personal touch to your greeting, you will warm it up a bit and have a better chance of connecting with the trade show attendee.
While the way you greet trade show attendees is very important and you want to train your staff to spark interest through the greeting, you also need the right trade show exhibit. Simply setting up a table with a few brochures won't cut it. People attend trade shows to see everything, but their time is limited. You need a design that will catch their attention and draw them in.
When your booth attracts attention and sparks interest, it opens the doors for your staff to easily spark up conversations with attendees. This will lead to more sales, profits and a longer list of leads ready to convert to buyers.
Next time you attend a trade show, make sure you're prepared. Get the right exhibit designed to draw in attendees and have your staff properly trained and ready with a professional greeting.