If you’re not one of the lucky tech companies who has a full-time staff of salespeople just for events, you’ve probably had to rely on non-sales employees to man (or wo-man!) your trade show booth in the past. It may also be difficult to align your sales and marketing teams to maximize your return-on-investment from every trade show you attend this year. So how do you pick the best people for the job? Ask yourself the following three questions.
1. Am I creating a diverse group?
People tend to feel most comfortable talking to others like them. So a young female might be intimidated to go to a booth with three middle-aged sales guys. Or someone in procurement might feel overwhelmed talking to a bunch of techies. Have a mixture of representatives in terms of age, sex and expertise so every visitor can find someone to relate to.
2. Do they have the right attitude?
Be on the lookout for Free Booze Frank, who wants to go to the trade show just for the open bar. You should also be wary of Chatty Karen, whose extroverted personality might seem good for small talk, but can quickly get off-topic. Instead, find people who have a genuine desire to help showcase your company as well as the soft skills to hold a short, meaningful conversation with visitors.
3. Have I set expectations?
Don’t assume non-sales people will know how to act in a trade show scenario. You have to train them, ideally through role play. It’s easy to think of the right answer with enough time, but you need to train your team to think on the spot. For example, they’ll need to know how to:
- Start a conversation naturally with visitors to your booth
- Provide a quick summary of brand’s promise (how your product or service helps clients)
- Ask the prospect a few qualifying questions
- Disengage politely from unqualified contacts
- Answer the most frequently asked questions about your product or service
- Set expectations for next steps…mainly handing leads off to a “real” salesperson to close the deal
It costs a lot of money to attend or exhibit at trade shows. No matter how much you pre-promote your booth, none of it will matter if you don’t identify, prepare and send your A-team.
Maximize the opportunity to get in front of prospective customers by sending a diverse group of professionals who are engaging across the board. While your sales reps are champions for your company, you should find other team members who have knowledge and experience that may appeal to different individuals.
Remember: It's intimidating to approach a booth if everyone looks exactly the same to each other and different from you. So it is key for you to send a team that resembles the people you want to attract to your booth. Showcasing your company's diversity will guarantee there is someone to connect with each personality type within your target persona.
To learn how you can make the most out of your trade show strategy, check out our “The B2B Sales Enablement Guide for Your Next Tech Trade Show”.
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