With so much preparation going into trade show season, the last thing you want is for your staff to be underprepared for the actual show. When they go into the show understanding some of the do’s and don’ts, they won’t have to worry about wasting this opportunity to gain new customers or forge new relationships for the brand.
Sometimes staff members might give the wrong impression through some unspoken, nonverbal cues, while sometimes the right verbal techniques can make the difference between gaining the lead or not. Take a look at these top communication strategies that your trade show staff will want to know in order to do their best at the show.
Have them practice that elevator pitch
The first thing your staff needs to do is to work on their elevator pitch, which is used to find new customers. You’ll need to make sure it offers the benefit of what you’re selling, why it’s different from anyone else’s offer, and a request to meet the customer when interest is sparked. Make sure the benefit isn’t the actual product you’re selling, but rather how your company’s products or services will benefit a customer’s business.
Then, make sure you differentiate yourself from other brands by explaining it through measurable facts rather than opinions and claims. Lastly, make sure their elevator pitch doesn’t try to close a sale but rather, offers a way to talk further such as schedule an appointment. Keeping it casual and conversational will form a relationship rather than make a customer feel they are being sold to, and keeping it simple will make it less confusing but rather spark interest.
Next, you’ll want to focus on body language to make sure your attendees are experiencing your brand in a positive way. Let your staff know that it’s important to be authentic during the show rather than to force a fake smile which may translate to awkwardness in the rest of the body. Be excited about your brand and what you’re doing, because authentic excitement will translate into more energy throughout the body.
Be sure to watch your customer’s body language too. Just because your customer isn’t smiling, doesn’t mean there isn’t authentic interest in your brand and the conversations being had. Look at the upper body, in general, to see how someone is communicating with you. If an attendee is crossing their arms, this could imply frustration, disinterest, or defensiveness, while open or elevated arms show enthusiasm.
Look at facial expressions if you’re unsure about someone’s arms because an animated face could imply someone is enthusiastic but their crossed arms just indicate they feel cold. Look for gestures such as scratching the back of the head as a sign of frustration, avoiding eye contact or backing away as a sign of disinterest, or a mimicking of your positive body language as a sign that they are receptive to you.
Along with overall body language, be aware of nonverbal communication and its importance at the trade show. Watch your posture during the day because it will make you look more professional and will help you to avoid crossing your arms.
Be willing to smile most of the time, especially when greeting someone with a firm handshake, because it will make you more approachable and give a good first impression. Avoid sitting down unless the person you are speaking with sits down, and avoid fidgeting like bouncing your leg or adjusting your clothes. Remember to be an active listener through eye contact, nodding, repeating back what you heard and asking pertinent questions.
Along with preparing for the trade show through a great booth display and presentations, make sure you prepare your staff before the show by filling them in on these tips that will make communication a top priority and win over attendees every time.