In this article, you'll learn how to...
- Effectively attract and engage qualified prospects at your next tradeshow
- Identify and handle those not likely to become customers
- Get your team poised for sales success at your show booth
We've all read about the business benefits of face-to-face interaction: It creates personal connections, builds trust, and fosters engagement. Tradeshows are one of the most common—and successful—examples of face-to-face interaction because they allow for a brand to connect with a high number of customers and prospects at once.
However, it's unrealistic to expect that just because you have an exhibit at a show you'll be flooded with hundreds of qualified leads. Real effort needs to be expended to ensure you spend time with the right people—and know how to disengage with the wrong ones.
The good news is that achieving that goal is simple: Just develop and implement a thorough qualifying process for all booth visitors. Here are a few tips you can use for your next show.
1. Identify the ideal customer
Every tradeshow attracts a spectrum of attendees, but not every single one of them is a target for your business. Recognizing that and understanding the attributes of your ideal customer are critical to ensuring that you channel your valuable time and marketing dollars toward prospects who are likely to result in real business.
Start by building a profile of your ideal customer several months before the show's doors even open. Perhaps he or she works for a company you've been targeting for years, has a specific title that gets you beyond the decision maker you currently work with, or is part of a new market sector where your company is looking to grow business.
Most events give exhibitors access to lists of registered attendees and provide a breakdown of business category, job title, and purchasing authority. Take advantage of that gold mine! Merge the information with your company's internal sales database to create a master list that will serve as the foundation for all of your pre-show and post-show marketing efforts.
2. Dangle the carrot