THE ROLE OF SALES AT A TRADESHOW BOOTH
PART 1: THE PRE-SHOW
It is ESSENTIAL that sales and marketing work hand-in-hand to ensure a successful return on the trade show. With over 30% of a company’s marketing budget spent on exhibiting at a trade show, the ROI must be there.
So, what are the responsibilities of the sales team at the show? Let’s be clear that the investment made into a tradeshow is an investment made into sales. You are attending the show to launch a new product, educate customers, or source new prospects – all of which results in increased sales. Tradeshows may be one of the biggest investments the company is making so it’s important for your sales staff to make the best of it.
Here is part 1 of my 3-part miniseries, “The Role of Sales at a Tradeshow Booth”.
PART 1: THE PRE-SHOW – BE PROACTIVE.
This is not Field of Dreams where “build it and they will come”. A lot of hard work must be put into the show three months before the show opens. The pre-show is to set appointments with customers and prospects.
Here are 3 things the sales team needs to do before the show:
1. START MARKETING
The marketing department should start sending out pre-show mailers and emails to announce the show, but as a salesperson, you will need to start marketing, too. Spread the word by posting on your social media. Let your followers know when and where the show is, share company updates about the show to your profile, inform them on what’s new at the show, and build excitement by telling them of any giveaways they could win or free swag they can pick up. Don’t forget to give them your booth number (and maybe even a map notating your booth) so they know exactly where to find you come showtime!
2. SEND PERSONAL EMAILS
Yes, take the time to PERSONALLY reach out to your top clients and prospects. Start with something personal so they know you aren’t sending a blast email or just copying and pasting. ie: Hi Jim! I hope you are enjoying this great golfing weather! How’s your son’s soccer team doing?
Next, let them know about your upcoming exhibit and you’d love to block off time to meet with either on the show floor or after show hours. (If you aren’t working the show, make sure you still invite them to stop by the booth and see your colleagues.)
3. PICK UP THE PHONE
Make the calls, keep calling and call again. You want to be busy at the show with the right kind of meetings so set them up in advance. Keep calling until you get your day(s) at the show filled with back-to-back appointments. It’s better for them to book appointments with you, rather than with your competitor.