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how to make your next trade show a success -  Part II

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Part II - at the show [qualify, qualify, qualify]

    It has always amazed me how many trade show booth staffers tried to sell to everyone. I suppose they thought they could sell refrigerators to Eskimos too.
    Do be sure to greet everyone walking by, but if they stop to talk, you must QUALIFY them. Ask them if they are in the market for your product or service. Ask them if they have a problem (that you have a solution for, of course). Ask them if they are currently using any of your competitors. Ask them if they are a decision-maker or influencer at their company. Ask these questions, but then listen. Let them talk. Determine the likelihood of them or their company buying from you.
    If they aren't a qualified prospect, thank them, and move on. If they are, continue your discussion with them. Get their contact information, and get some kind of personal information as well and make a note of it (this will help you with your follow-up later). If you think you can get a sale, by all means try. Don't put off for tomorrow what you can accomplish today.
    I regard qualifying trade show prospects as a simple mathematical formula. If you have four good hours of prospecting a day (240 minutes), would you rather spend five minutes each with 48 people when 80% of them would never buy from you (so the nine good prospects only get five minutes of your time just like the others), or would you rather spend two minutes each qualifying the 48, and then have 16 minutes each for your nine legitimate prospects. I'd personally rather have 18 minutes total for each of the nine legitimate prospects, not just the five minutes that the refrigerator salesman has.
    There's a lot more to do at your trade show [see what to do & what not to do at your booth], but qualifying prospects is to often overlooked or misunderstood. So remember... qualify, qualify, qualify.

Part III - after the show {follow-up, follow-up, follow-up]

back to Part I - before the show [plan, plan, plan]


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