When Talking Kills Trade Shows

When most of us attend a trade show we do a lot of talking. Talk, talk, talk, talk. Talking is good, but talking has a cost for both the exhibitor and the attendee. The cost is time. Time is a finite resource on the show floor and the more you talk, the more time you use up.

Trade Show Samurai-style strategy limits talk time to about three to five minutes by focusing the topic of conversation to uncovering any potential sales opportunities. In other words, the talk is about finding a common ground, taking a few critical notes and then moving on to the next person. When you talk this way, you ensure that you and the attendee will have time to talk to lots of people and, thus, uncover lots of opportunities.

However, the typical trade show booth staffer “gets into it” with attendees. They talk about their products, their company, their services, features, benefits, common acquaintances, the weather, parties and all sorts of other things that chew up time faster than squirrels in a wood-chipper. This sort of talk should take place off the show floor. You or your sales team will have plenty of time after the show to follow-up and chew the fat with potential customers. During the show, however, the more you talk, the more opportunity you leave on the table.

The urge to engage in time-wasting talk with trade show attendees can be overwhelming. You may find someone you like or someone you think might be a good prospect for your company. You can’t hold yourself back. You are giddy with excitement and want to start moving that person down the sales pipeline immediately. If you do this you will kill your show. It’s a sad day. Poor dead trade show…sniff.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but you are in a constant battle with time on the show floor. Battling time will require all your cunning. The Arts of the Trade Show Samurai will help you develop the skills and the discipline to battle with all your might.

Mike Moyer

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