How to Engage With Potential Customers: A Booth Staff Primer
The next time you are gearing up your booth staff for a show, remind them (and yourself) why they are there with these basic guidelines.
Interacting with attendees at a trade show requires creativity and excellent people skills. It's important that your booth staff has confidence in the company's product or services, but at the same time not appear pushy. You don't want staffers to drive people away from your exhibit by making them feel uncomfortable.
Let Potential Customers Gather Information Without Interruption
People visiting a trade show are shopping. Roughly half of the attendees are planning to buy one or more products they've seen exhibited at a trade show (Exhibit Surveys). If a potential customer stops and just wants a pamphlet, let them take one and move on. Sometimes people just want to gather a bunch of information that they can read in the comfort of their own office.
If Someone Stops and Lingers at the Display, Watch Their Body Language
When a potential customer stops at your display and lingers over the materials, they are showing interest. Going over to the person too quickly may scare them off. With some discretion, watch their body language. If they look up and appear to be searching for more help, go over to them and offer to answer any questions. If they look down and continue to read the materials, wait for a few minutes before your approach.
Talk to Potential Customers with Authority
Always speak with the authority that you have on the subject. Potential customers want to know that you can give them what they want. Booth staff is there to answer questions and promote solutions. It is crucial they act like experts. Saying “I'm not sure” or “Let me double check on that for you”, will work once in a conversation, but don't rely on having to continually check for further information. Know your product or service inside and out so you can speak to any customer with knowledge and experience.
Be Yourself When Talking to Potential Customers
When you try to put on a fake persona, this comes across quickly to attendees. It is likely that you have chosen to sell your particular product or service because it fits who you are as a person. Have confidence in what you are selling, yet don't try to put on an act for people that you meet at a trade show.
Make a Lasting Impression
It's hard to make a lasting impression at a trade show, especially if there are a lot of other exhibitors whom you are competing with for business. Whether it is sharing with the customer a unique piece of information about yourself, or providing chocolate wrapped in your logo, try to get customers to remember you for when they are back in the office.
Remember, potential customers are trying to learn about all of their options. Being too aggressive will only turn them away. Be yourself, and let customers know that you are there if they need more information.