The trade show floor is packed with prospective clients, making it a veritable smorgasbord for the unsated appetites of salesmen. However, it isn’t as simple as diving in and getting your fill. No, salesmen need to earn each and every deal they get with smart sales strategy and a great sales pitch. This post will help salesmen selling at a trade show hone their skills, win over clients and beat out their competition on the show floor.
Sales, it’s a tough racket, but preparation makes it easy
Selling at a trade show is the ultimate test for a salesmen. Sure making cold calls to uninterested and disgruntled prospects can be grueling, going door-to-door interrupting people’s mid-day television isn’t much fun either, but selling at a trade show is unique because you faceoff head-to-head with other salesmen in real-time.
The key to succeeding in the face-to-face environment is by making selling as simple as possible for yourself. One of the keys to sales simplification is preparation. Before an event, make sure you are an expert on whichever product or service you are going to be selling. Take time to visit with the product design team and ask them practical in-depth questions about the product or service. You should also become an expert on your competitions products as well, this way you will be able to pick apart their limitations while highlighting how your product is a better fit.
Practice makes perfect, we have all heard that line a thousand times, but putting that saying into “practice” can be difficult at times. You should read your sales script over and over until you have it memorized and can recite it without a hitch. Also, practice reworking your sales script in your mind, this will help you with customizing your pitch on the trade show floor.
Rejection Vs. Objection
Salesmen deal with rejection on a day-to-day basis, it’s part of the job whether you are selling at a car dealership or in a trade show exhibit. However, great salesmen are able to deal with rejection with grace and the best salesmen understand the difference between a “rejection” and an “objection” with the former being a closed-door and the latter as an opportunity. Read the following to get a better understanding of the differences between rejections and objections.
noun re·jec·tion \ri-ˈjek-shən\
: the act of not accepting, believing, or considering something: the state of being rejected (* Reference, Merriam-Webster dictionary)
Sales translation: You won’t be able to sell this person, anything. If you proceed to pitch them you will have an angry person on your hands who may complain to your higher-ups, write a bad review of your company or worse. Knowing when to hang it up and move on is essential in sales, as wasted time is wasted opportunity.
Example: “No thank you, I am not in the market for your product, nor will I ever be in the market for your product.”
Your Response: “Thanks for speaking with me, have a great rest of your day. ”
noun ob·jec·tion \əb-ˈjek-shən\
: a reason for disagreeing with or opposing something : a reason for objecting (* Reference, Merriam-Webster dictionary)
Sales translation: This is a maybe, a person you still have a chance to sell to. Often times if a person is willing to give a hesitant response rather than a stern negative one chances are that this prospect is on the fence as to whether or not they want to buy your product. Overcoming objections is a skill every elite salesmen possesses, make sure you keep yourself in the game and don’t mistake a “maybe” for a “no”.
Example: “Right now isn’t a great time for me, check back in a week or so.”, “Your pricing seems a little high, I don’t think I can spend that much right now.”
Your Response: ” I understand that this may not be the best time for you, but I can show you right now how our product can meet your needs.”, ” I understand your budget concerns, and we have a number of pricing options for you to explore. I just want to make sure you are getting the best deal possible.”
Great sales people know that when it comes down to it, selling a product’s features is a great way to get prospects interested, but what makes a prospect buy more often than not is the value of a product. Value is not only measured in dollars and cents, there are other non-monetary values that can have just as much of an impact as the price tag.
When selling at a trade show, you are more than likely going to be selling in a B2B environment. That said, your sales pitch should present the value your product or service can offer an organization as a whole. Company value represents the benefits a product or service can offer a company at the organizational level such as “easy-to-use interface”, “development-friendly” , “time-saving” etc. By pitching these values you are connecting to a company’s pain points and offering a unique solution that your company can provide.
Career development is important to your prospects, and if you can show them how your product or service can help them grow professionally they will be more willing to listen to your pitch. Professional value can be demonstrated with testimonials of other professionals who share the prospects job title, or by illustrating how your product will help their department excel, and by extension how they will benefit as an individual.
Prospects are keenly aware of their company’s identity in the marketplace and will make their purchasing decisions based on products that align with their brand’s identity. Before jumping into a sales pitch, ask a prospect how their company views itself and how their customers view them as well. Take the answers they give you and rework your sales pitch to highlight how your product or service can help them enhance or maintain their identity.
Selling at a trade show and Social Media
Social media has taken the world over, and it has become an integral part of every salesmen’s arsenal. You can use social media to do a little preliminary research on your competitors, use it to find out which potential prospects will be in attendance at your event and as a way to draw interest in your exhibit space to increase your sales pool.
Social media can also be used as a tool to follow-up with prospects you were not able to close on the show floor. You can send messages on LinkdIn, Twitter or Facebook either to the individuals you spoke with or to their company’s profile. Follow up is a huge part of selling at a trade show, so make sure you keep in close contact with every prospect you meet.