Take a walk through any home show or event and watch how companies present their products and interact with prospects.
Many representatives are sitting behind their table at the edge of the booth waiting for something to happen.Some are sitting on barstools and make statements to prospects such as, “Are you enjoying the show?” or “How are you today?” Frequently, this is accompanied by a generic flyer (check the trash can to see the effectiveness of this strategy).
You will also see representatives eating lunch or staring at their mobile devices. Many are dressed in shorts or jeans with t-shirts that look like they were pulled out of the back of their closet.
On the other hand, well-trained companies use two or three people in their booths, and actively engage people who walk by, generating significant interest.
Event representatives are dressed similarly, either wearing “company-branded” or business-casual attire, their booth is well lit, and contains dynamic elements which attract prospects.
Over the last several decades we have developed a comprehensive list of “do’s and don’ts” for best practices at shows and events:
- Win the battle of the "first impression." Make sure that nothing in your booth looks weathered or worn.
- Have the right tools on-hand:
- A laptop, iPad, or similar device to display your products and capture customer information
- Dynamic “before and after” pictures
- Upgraded samples
- Lead cards and appointment reminders
3. Use Promoters instead of Sales Personnel. Salespeople will focus too hard on selling the prospect when the goal is to set an appointment.
4. Create scripted language for booth personnel, avoiding questions such as: “How are you doing?” or “Are you enjoying the show?”
5. Teach your Promoters to deliver effective “openers” and prospect responses (examples below).
6. Don’t over-exert your event personnel. Implement sensible shifts of 4-6 hours (maximum) with at least two breaks per person.
7. Calculate fully loaded costs before each event which are often more significant than you might expect.
- No chairs, bar stools, food, or drinks in the booth.
- No books, magazines, personal phone calls, texting, social media, or web browsing.
- No unkempt jeans, shorts, or t-shirts.
- Avoid personal conversations with other vendors.
- Don’t allow promoters to work alone. Always have a minimum of two people in your booth. Don’t overfill your booth or table. Maintain an open and uncluttered look.
Examples of Proven Openers and Responses
- “If you were to improve your kitchen, what would be the first thing you would do?”
- “What is the one thing you dislike most about your bathroom?”
- “If you could change one thing about your deck, what would it be?”
- “How long have you been unhappy with…or had a problem with…?”
- “What has kept you from making this improvement to your home in the past?”
- “XYZ Home improvement has more ways to efficiently upgrade your windows than ever before.”
- “We can have a trained advisor immediately take a look at what you want to have done to best fit your needs.”
- “There’s no cost for our inspection service and ideas presented by our designer.”
- “We are currently scheduling appointments for . . . Which date and time would work best to determine how we can best meet your needs?”
Shows and events of all sizes remain an excellent way to create leads. If executed properly, they present an opportunity to maximize your marketing costs while adding future customers to your database.