Trade shows could be harsh. You may be put under the microscope, with every action being closely watched and every word monitored. You can’t just go around giving everyone a piece of your mind. Successful sales teams don’t. They know what to say and what not to. What about you?
Things Better Left Unsaid at Trade Shows
- Words that may come back to bite you: People who succeed at nailing trade shows are not the ones who ask you to “trust them” or “give you their word” at the drop of a hat. They know actions speak louder than words and that they need to gain your trust by successfully demonstrating that they are worth it. Telling the trade show visitors to trust you is like raising suspicion for no good reason; the more you ask them to trust you, the less likely they are to believe.
- Small talk. “How are you today” is fine, but eventually, you must cut to the chase. Successful sales teams do. The visitors know what you are looking for, and they are at your booth because they are interested in your products, so instead of beating around the bush, just say it. Then, of course, don’t say the first thing that comes to your mind. Weave a story instead, one that shows your brand in a good light and assures the visitors that you have the solutions to their problems.
- Open-ended questions. “What do you think?” – what they think is that they should rather make a detour and head to some other booth, where the salespeople have more confidence in their own products. People who are good at sales do listen to what the visitors have to say and even empathize, but they know how to take control of the conversation. Open-ended questions may put you in a tight spot. Steer clear!
- Tall claims. Say only what you can prove. Blowing your own trumpet is okay, in fact, it’s a given at trade shows, but don’t step out of line. Bragging or even worse, bad-mouthing the competition could do you more harm than good. If your products are better than theirs, the visitors would know.
- A matter of life and death. Long gone is the era of “limited time offers”. Nobody falls for that anymore. The visitors know that there is no urgency and they can make an informed decision any time they like. As far as the successful sales teams go, well, they know that even if the offer is only valid for a brief period of time, they ought to build value first before they can think about discussing the price. And that’s exactly what you should do.
The trick lies in not saying anything that ends up forcing you to eat your words later or leaves a question mark over your professionalism. The truth is that an eye-catching booth design may attract the visitors, but if anything is going to make them stay past the elevator pitch, it’s what you say. Watch your mouth, like literally. Successful sales teams do, and that’s the reason they are successful!