Trade shows are presentations and exhibiting is serious business. I've seen exhibitors lose sales because they didn't know how to present themselves at the booth. Follow these simple tips to increase your traffic: * Define your purpose. Why are you there? To conduct market research? To generate leads? To introduce a new product? Defining your purpose will give you a clear focus for the day.
* Project the right image. Are you upscale? Small but friendly? Specially priced? Once you agree on the company's image, define your behaviors and act accordingly.
* Set goals. Be specific. "To generate 25 new leads for hotel rooms by April 1st is measurable and specific. By setting a goal you'll be able to measure your success. * Organize the booth. Rid the booth of clutter. If you have a lot of handouts place them out of view away from the brochures. You can pull them out if needed. Don't drink coffee or eat snacks while you're in the booth; it creates an unprofessional look. Take a break and eat in the concession area. Don't read the newspaper during slow times. Remember all eyes are on you.
* Polish your presentation. Greet each person with a smile, a firm handshake, and direct eye contact. Nobody wants to buy from someone who's darting eyes are looking for the next lead. Be warm and enthusiastic. Take short notes when talking to a prospect. Don't chew gum, smoke, or chat with co-workers while you're in the booth. And never leave the booth unattended.
* Put your best foot forward. It's best to stand in front of the booth. That makes it easier to greet customers. Sitting will make you look too casual and not ready to do business.
* Promote the booth. Send invitations and advertise in advance of the event. Schedule appointments to meet with existing customers. Sponsor a fun event at your booth such as roulette or golf and watch the crowds gather.
* Don't give away the store. Instead of handing bags of premiums to everyone who walks by, ask for business cards. Keep gifts on the back table. When someone arrives, ask for a business card in exchange for a prize.
* Prepare an opening line. Know your audience. Don't waste time talking to non-buyers. "Are you a meeting planner?' "Do you purchase computers?" "Are you a purchasing agent?" If the answer is yes you can continue your presentation. Otherwise, politely send them on their way. Your goal is to present to qualified prospects.
* Listen, listen, listen. The number one reason for losing the sale is the salesperson didn't listen. Listen for needs and wants. Most trade show presenters are too busy talking. Listening will give you the competitive edge.