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5 Ways to Increase Your Trade Show Sales
By Mark S. A. Smith   Printer Friendly Version

Whether you're new to trade shows, or an old pro, here's five ideas guaranteed to increase sales at your next show.

Greet visitors quickly
A trade show isn't a cocktail party. You don't have to open a conversation with meaningless pleasantries, like, "How are you?", or "May I help you?" When you first see a visitor, gently offer a handshake, and introduce yourself and your company. This immediately sets the tone of the conversation, and establishes basic rapport.

Qualify visitors in seconds
The most important thing for you to know is the responsibilities of your visitor. This lets you know what questions to ask next. Your questions to a CEO will be different from those to a technical person. Your approach with a consumer will be different from with a corporate buyer.

Rapidly qualify your visitor by seeking to disqualify them as a buyer. Keep looking for the deal killer -- the one thing that means you can't do business. The instant you find that deal killer, stop the conversation and move your visitor along.

Ensure 100% after-show contact
As you get contact information for after-show follow up, ask your visitor, "Is the best number to reach you?" Frequently they'll give you their direct dial line, home number, lab number, or car phone number.

Double your leads
Whether they can do business with you or not, ask every visitor, "Who can you think of that would benefit from what we do?" Almost everyone can give you a name, virtually doubling the number of leads you'll get from your show. When you contact these referrals, use the visitors' name and where you met them as your introduction.

Move visitors along
When it's time to move your visitor along, restate what will happen next, even if it's, "I'm sorry I can't help you." Next, offer a handshake, and then say, "Thanks for stopping by." This three-step process moves visitors along every time.

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