Basics of Selling
To help your staff do this, review with them the three basic steps to selling at exhibitions:
1. Sell yourself,
2. Sell your company,
3. Sell your product or service.
For some of your team, the big problem is "selling yourself" in the exhibition environment and this is where some coaching about greeting strangers helps. Also, assess each individual's people and language skills, and be prepared to work a little more with those persons who may not be comfortable meeting people. Some companies use a buddy system, teaming a self-conscious or shy person with a more outgoing one, who acts as coach. Others match sales people with technical people, to create a winning combination. And, all successful exhibiting companies hold daily staff meetings to build team spirit.
Next, "selling the company" phase was underway long before the show opened. Exhibitions are part of your company's marketing mix, so all the branding on your website, the pre-show advertising, direct mail, press releases, and other promotions create a company awareness level that translates into visitor confidence and recognition in the stand. However, all your sales and marketing messages must be consistent and fully integrated. In today's competitive marketplace, it's recognition that works best for your company's stand.
The final step, "selling the product", is often the easiest, since most team members have some product knowledge. However, moving from the product discussion phase to closing the sale may not be easy for them to accomplish, as it's much different than a sales call in the prospect's office, because you have only a few minutes to bring the prospect into the stand, qualify her or him, have a meaningful discussion, get the lead or sale information, and then disengage. To repeat: the more comfortable your staff is with exhibition marketing basics, the more successful they will be at the show.