Tradeshows Do’s and Don’ts: Stop Being So Transactional

Tradeshows Do’s and Don’ts: Stop Being So Transactional

Welcome to the final installment of Tradeshow Do’s and Don’ts! If you missed the last entry, we took a look at how to properly leverage technology at your booth. You can find it here through this link.

This week we’ll be looking at the general sale process on the event floor and behind the scenes. The sales process is like a dance; partners have to be in sync, it must flow naturally and have clear communication. You can’t just barge your way onto the dance floor and step on everyone’s feet.

But, on the other hand, you have to be out of your seat to dance. Let’s set your tradeshows as the dance floor and the people in attendance as potential dancing partners. How can we be just aggressive enough to bring in a sale, but not so transaction-oriented that we scare people off? I think a proper balance of strategically selecting shows and taking an assertive mindset to the sale process is a great start:

1) We need to make sure that we are attending the right tradeshow. This might be obvious, but in some cases are we going to events just for the sake of going? To collect leads that may not even be relevant? I’d definitely categorize that as “transactional”. If you’re going to every show on the event calendar, you’re too worried about the sale, the transaction, the end result.

On the other hand, are you going to tradeshows that are only relevant to your industry? I had a conversation at a local event with another exhibitor. Their thought was that the tradeshow industry is dying and that they’re only useful for meeting up with current clients or scheduling a few brief meetings to show some of your up and coming technologies. I have to respectfully disagree. I think there is always a market out there, but maybe you need to revisit the shows you’re going to! Not going to shows for fear of irrelevancy is definitely the “too timid” zone.

Explore some possible areas where your services might be beneficially disruptive to the industry norm. I say try out a few experimental shows. For all you know, you could be the only game in town! Take a step back and make sure you’re appropriately spending your event budget, or that you are fully utilizing it to go to some new ones.

Don’t: go to every show just for the sake of collecting leads. It’s a waste of time and money. Additionally, don’t avoid shows just because they might be “out of scope”. Do: Explore different industries where your products and services might be applicable or cut back on your event schedule, apply the budget to something that enhances your show experience (like technology or lead retrieval).

momencio, developed by customedialabs, is an innovative event enablement platform is an extremely valuable asset in these types of situations. In the case of attending a new trade show, it would help provide insight into what types of people and companies interact with your brand and stay interested after the show. It’s technology like this that can really allow you to explore new horizons in the event space.

2) Don’t sell just to sell. You’re definitely being transactional if you don’t listen to what leads are saying. I’ll share another personal experience: I was at a massive convention oriented around the manufacturing process (obviously not my industry).

I was attempting to start up some conversations with a few vendors about their exhibition experience. One of the sales people referred me to their manager. She pulled the manager over and prefaced the introduction with something along the lines of: “Hey, so this guy is asking about our booth experience, he’s not in manufacturing so he probably won’t be interested in our products” (They printed labels for different types of packaging).

I continued the conversation by introducing myself and telling her a bit about our company (a digital media agency). The manager replied with: “Oh okay, so what type of product do you manufacture, let me scan your badge and I’ll send you a sample of our labels”…really?

Well needless to say, that conversation ended pretty quickly. However, a week later I received a package stuffed to the brim with stickers, labels, shrink wraps etc. even after stating that I wasn’t interested. Do I need to say it? TRANSACTIONAL. What if we had some way of gauging interest, tracking involvement and activity levels? Maybe this would help us better qualify leads and take our mind off of the sale for a few minutes.

momencio can also be an indispensable tool in this situation. Had this particular manager leveraged the platform, she would have known that I didn’t open any of the follow up emails, never visited the website, and would have been able to gauge my responsiveness and interaction with her brand, saving both time and money.

Don’t: focus exclusively on the sell and disregard everything that people are telling you. Even if it’s just a friendly conversation. Do: Build your network and relationships, you never know where they might take you! Even if the person isn’t ever going to be a sale, they could wind up being a great resource.

I think it’s important to pay attention to the sales process. In some cases we can leverage technology, like momencio, to focus on the transaction, so that way we can focus on the human, the relationship and conversation (the dance).

Don’t: Neglect people for the sake of a sale. Do: Look into how momencio can track interaction with your brand, provide insight into customers’ behavior on your website and with your emails and arm you with incredible knowledge, allowing you to be transactional at the exact right moment.