Moving tradeshow attendees from tire-kicking to closing a deal is the holy grail of tradeshow marketing. After all, nothing happens until a sale is made.
So what can you do to get people to actually close a deal?
First, you gotta HAVE a compelling deal. If all you’re offering is a warmed-over widget with a new color or a fancy flag, you’re not going to really inspire visitors to WANT to have it. No, you have to make them feel like they NEED it. NOW.
Is your deal compelling? Are you making an offer that is irresistible? Is the product something they can’t get elsewhere or won’t be able to get in this form until a certain amount of time goes by? Is it NEW? Is it UNIQUE? All of these can go towards making an IRRESISTABLE OFFER.
Next, your sales staff at the booth needs to be good LISTENERS. Many visitors to a booth will say a lot, dropping several code words that indicate they’re ready to buy, but if the sales person isn’t trained to notice those words and follow up with appropriate questions, the visitor will most likely walk away – to another booth where the sales staff senses what’s going on and makes the sale.
Train your sales staff properly and you’ll reap the rewards.
Third, as visitors walk by your booth, have a compelling question ready. Catch their attention, ask the question, and if it’s the right question, it’ll immediately do two things. First, it’ll qualify or disqualify them. If it qualifies them, it’ll get them interested in finding out more. The question should relate to a solution that your product or service offers, and get them curious about how you might solve it.
Fourth, have a plan to handle hot prospects. If someone is obviously interested, have an action plan for the next steps that it takes to get them to the sale. Does it take a follow-up call from someone back at the office? Does it take filling out an order form? Whatever your process involves, make sure that the steps are easily understood, not just by your sales team, but also by the prospect.
Fifth, you should have a strategy in place to grade your leads. The ‘hot’ leads are handled first, the warm leads are handled next and the cool leads are put on a mailing list of sent a white paper or something. Whatever your system is, make sure it happens. More sales are lost due to lack of follow up than any other reason in tradeshow marketing. It’s been reported that approximately 4 of 5 leads are never followed up with. That’s money left on the table.
Finally, assume the attitude that you’re there to HELP someone solve a problem, not SELL him or her a pre-packaged solution. People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy a solution to their problem. Keep asking your questions, look to peel the onion down to uncover the visitor’s real issue, and then explain to them how your product or service will benefit them. Yes, it sounds great in theory, but in the real world it’s probably more clunky and funky to actually make happen. But it can. Eyes light up when your visitor sees a solution to their difficult problem. And more importantly, wallets open up. Willingly.