Trade Show Staff Training – 5 Tips for Managers

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Trade Show Staff Training – 5 Tips for Managers

With 2020 just around the corner, that means the Trade Show Season begins soon.  CES is in January and just a few weeks away!  Your sales teams need to be ready.

There’s no job description that says “Stand in the booth and hand out brochures”, so it’s important that for each show each staff member receives training. Just because you can sell well doesn’t mean you can sell well in this unique marketing environment.

How? Get everybody in a room and lecture to them. Wrong! Whether using a professional trainer or doing it yourself, here are FIVE TIPS to develop better booth staff:

1. VISIT SHOWS …

You want to find a Practice Show. Don’t have a trade show? Sure you do – shows are everywhere. Try a local home-and-garden show, car show, boat show or call the CVB and ask if there’s a show you can visit. Go as a group or individually but have a check list. Watch behavior. Look for the signs of why, and why not, you would talk with any particular person in the booth. Ignore the display. Be conscious of clothes, mannerisms, odors, demonstration, presentation and grammar. Did you get a business card? Was the person selling you or listening to you? Compare notes on a Wednesday.

2. ANONYMOUSLY CRITIQUE EACH OTHER …

From the visit to the practice show – did your staff person come back with information that was needed? There are only two reasons people go to shows – to find information and to make decisions. Most go to gather information, but a stack of brochures or business cards is not information.

3. SUCCESS AND ROCKS ROLL FROM THE TOP …

CEO’s attend a show to meet clients and support their sales staff. Visibility and accessibility of top management at a show provides credibility and modeling for the on-floor staff. If managers don’t want to be involved, it sends a who-cares message to everyone involved, including prospects and clients.

4. SELECT STAFF TO MEET EXPECTATIONS OF THE FIRM …

If the goal is to find 25 qualified leads and close two deals, then send the folks who can do that. Match the corporate expectations with the reality of the show attendance. Many firms send people who are logistically closest to the show, know the most about the product or are most expendable – they are the newest or oldest. The staff must be fully fluent in the firm – know who knows what, how things get done plus be personable.

5. MATCH INDIVIDUAL EXPECTATIONS WITH CORPORATE EXPECTATIONS …

Every person who stands in the booth expects to make a sale, meet a prospect, get a bonus, waste time or find a new job. Send the people who will make your company prosper.

Be prepared and get the most out of your Marketing Dollars in 2020!


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