You show up on time, you’re all ready, looking your best, energized and excited about what may happen. No, it’s not a first date, it’s a trade show. And knowing how to woo your potential customers is crucial no matter how fancy your booth is or how enticing your giveaways are.
Studies have shown that in the retail setting, asking the right questions can be the key to successful transactions. “Welcome to…” never does it. Shouting hello from behind the register doesn’t work either. What does work is beginning with a sincere greeting and then asking a question that leads the customer to believe you’re really interested in them. No, not “what’s your sign?” That’s the dating thing again. And questions that have yes or no answers aren’t a good idea, either. Ask them what brought them to the trade show. They have to answer with at least a little thought which gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself as a guide at the show.
Of course, as you chat, you’re getting information that you can use to turn you product or service into the solution to the problem they never knew they had (or maybe they did). And once they acknowledge this, empathize with them. Be genuine and comment respectfully. Then introduce them to your company. They’ve never heard of you before? “Well then I’m glad you’re here!” Give them the important points about your business as you guide them into your booth.
Once they’re in your booth, it’s important to have some space designated for conversations. If their eyes are still wandering around the convention hall while you’re talking, they won’t pay attention to your pitch. Have a space where they can feel comfortable and welcomed. Maybe have a seat next to them like an old friend and throw your pitch.
Chances are, you’ll close a sale, make a great contact for the future and leave your visitor with a good impression that they’ll pass along to friends. Which is kind of like the second date.