People that attend tradeshows don’t want to be sold. They want to walk around, check out a few things, and maybe strike up some conversations. Cornering someone until they submit might work on some used car lots, but it’s not the way to leave a favorable impression in a possible client’s mind. Instead, you’ll have to carefully walk the line between selling (because, let’s be real, that’s what you want to do) and simply letting people know that your company exists: I’m going to dub this tactic “unmarketing.”
What Dale Carnegie Says
Is there any greater sales book than “How to Make Friends and Influence People”? Truly this one is a classic for good reason. Carnegie gets the art of unmarketing. He understands (and tries to convey) that people aren’t sold on numbers and pitches alone. Instead, he begs his readers to understand the art of talking, communicating, and hearing someone – really hearing them. And guess what? This is a really hard thing to do when your sole purpose for attending a show is to sell! What’s the trick, then?
Act like a human. Okay, Carnegie doesn’t say that directly, but, really, shed the salesperson lingo, and just talk to the people that come to your booth. Ask them what drew them to your stand, what line of business they are in, and what their goals and objectives are. But more importantly – don’t try and talk to ten people at once. Pick one person, focus on that person, make eye contact, listen to what they have to say, and really make an impression. That’s what Carnegie would do.
Luring Them to Your Booth
Before you can even strike up a conversation, though, you’ll have to find some way to get people to your booth. As funny as it sounds – and, really, it does paint a humorous picture – most people at a show will do anything to avoid a booth that looks super high pressure (note: don’t let your sales guys stand at the front of your booth in an aggressive stance!). So, make your booth the opposite of what people will run away from.
Bring some fun elements to the show – especially if it’s a serous show. Who would expect you to show up with a fun activity or exhibit booth? Nobody, right? That’s why you should do it!
Creating some kind of luring element means that your booth will draw visitors, and then you can work on building those meaningful conversations. Once you’ve stopped, talked, and listened, you can hand out your literature, and grab a business card or two. In the meantime, though, it’s all about how you get people to your trade show display, and how you treat them once they do arrive. If you learn to stop marketing and start practicing the art of unmarketing, you’ll see a ROI in no time.
At Blazer Exhibits, we do build customized display booths – but we do more than build amazing exhibit booths too. We can also store, clean, repair, set up, and take down any trade show display that you have. We operate a full-service exhibit company, and that means that we take care of everything about the upcoming show you want to attend from A to Z – really.
Call us today for additional details, to find out what our prices are, and figure out how you’re going to have the best trade show display at the upcoming show. Also, make sure to check us out on Facebook to see updates and other bits of information that you’ll find useful!