Not every star salesperson can perform well at a trade show. While there is a large amount of skill crossover between selling over the phone (or in a store) and selling at a trade show, experience is no guarantee – or even indicator – of good results.
Trade shows are a unique environment, particularly for sales reps. Instead of having hundreds of uninterested prospects to call, they have hundreds of already interested prospects contacting them in search of information.
We spoke to Display Wizard, a leading provider of trade show stands and equipment for businesses, to learn more about what separates a great salesperson from a great trade show representative.
1. Trade show representatives should want to be there
Not all salespeople want to be at a trade show. As the Trade Show Institute recently explained, certain sales representatives are often far more interested in the social, fast-paced environment of a trade show than others.
This is especially true if your business assigns sales reps to different regions. Pick a sales rep that can benefit from the leads you generate at an event, as they’ll likely be more motivated to close sales than an out-of-region sales representative.
2. Trade show representatives should know your product
Most salespeople are accustomed to calling purchasing managers. This makes them great at talking about the benefits of your product, but often less skilled in explaining its technical specifications.
Since trade shows attract a diverse audience made up of CEOs, purchasing managers and engineers – as well as many other professionals – it’s important to have a sales rep that can confidently cover the technical aspects of your product.
3. Trade show representatives should be friendly and sociable
Most trade show leads are warm, but some will still require ‘warming up.’ If you’re interested in generating the largest possible amount of leads, choose someone that is sociable, friendly, and great at starting conversations.
The typical ‘hard sell’ pitch can often scare off prospects that are just interested in learning more about your company. Choose a friendly, approachable sales rep for your next trade show and you’ll draw in customers that a driven ‘closer’ might not be able to connect with.
4. Trade show networks should be great at following up
Half of the sales from each trade show will come after the event. Choose sales reps that are just as good at following up with prospects as they are at generating leads and taking down phone numbers.
If your sales reps work in a team, it’s best to send a team member to the event for a more complete understanding of each prospect’s needs. If this isn’t possible, make sure your trade show rep notes down needs and desires for your post-event sales team to use in their pitches to prospects.