Tradeshows are a busy and distracting environment in which you’re trying to make sales and generate leads. By asking qualifying questions you can cut to the chase quickly.
Tradeshow consultant and author Mitch Tarr says it takes practice. For instance, you should come up with a pertinent question, such as “Do you own a small business nearby?” or “Do you have kids in elementary school?” Rehearse the question with your colleagues and ask for input. Find two or three opening questions that feel natural, that easily roll off the tongue.
By spending a moment to engage each booth visitor, you’ll quickly determine if they’re qualified prospects. Each show might require a different qualifying question. A regional home show would have different requirements than a national tradeshow.
Ensure that everyone on your staff is well-rehearsed and able to ask the question to qualify visitors. While this may seem simple, in practice it often is not. In the heat and bustle of a tradeshow, it’s easy for someone to forget what the question is – or forget to ask it consistently of the booth visitors.
Once that person is disqualified, you can politely disengage and they’ll be on their way. If you qualify them, ‘peel the onion’ and ask a few more questions to narrow down their interest. By focusing on what they are looking for, you help steer them to the right product or service or even to the right person in your booth to discuss their issue.
It’s all in the questions you ask. So test the questions and keep working and refining them until they are getting the results you want.