You promote your trade show presence, set up your booth and attract the people. Yet, if you fail to build relationships with trade show attendees, you have gained virtually nothing from all the effort you put in. A lot of time, effort and resources go into ensuring a successful trade show presence. Most businesses focus on getting the maximum number of people to visit their booth. However, that shouldn’t necessarily be your end goal.
Your purpose should be to generate more customers for your business to stimulate growth.
That is only possible if your efforts are dedicated towards building relationships with the people who attend the trade show. Here are some ways in which this can be done:
The first thing is to make a good impression on the people that pass by your booth. Keep in mind that only people who are aware of your business and products will stop at your booth. The rest you will have to attract through other means. Make a good impression by setting up a visually appealing booth. Not only does this gets more people to your booth but ensures that the people who are attracted have a good opinion of your business.
Make each person comfortable when they come to your booth. Don’t launch into your elevator speech as soon as they come to your booth. Strike up a real conversation and let the visitor dictate the terms. Don’t try to lead them to a topic where you can make a sales pitch. Answer their questions in as much detail as possible. Also, look for common interests which you can use to further your chances of sealing the deal in the future.
This brings you to a pertinent point: focus on listening. The fact that someone took the time out to stop by your booth means that he/she is interested in discovering more about your business. If all they are going to take out of it is a giveaway and a boring diatribe on how your products can change their life, your time is wasted. To build relationships, you have to learn to listen. Train your staff to be cordial and speak only when spoken to.
It is a good idea to get existing customers of your business to visit your booth. Since they are familiar with your business on a personal level, it is easier for you to strike up a conversation with them. In fact, seeing you chat with a customer amicably might attract a few people to your booth. It would help break the ice and ensure that the visitor does not feel ‘cold’ towards your business.
Lastly, you should also ask a few questions. Make the visitor feel that you are interested in knowing more about him/her. However, make sure that you don’t ask irrelevant questions. The questions should be related to the person and relevant to your business. Otherwise you are going to drive the people away.
Communicating well is the best way to build relationships with trade show attendees. Make them feel comfortable and you will succeed in your goal. Follow the tips described above to build meaningful relationships with trade show attendees.