How to Sell at a Trade Show Booth: 4 Secrets to Success

A trade show is a fantastic opportunity for you to sell directly to your target audience. It’s a room full of potential customers and if you’re successful, it can be a lucrative day. However, you’re not the only businesses looking to make a sale and there’s a lot of competition for attendees’ hard earned cash.

Get ahead of the rest with these secrets that will help you to sell at a trade show booth.


Increase Your Sales at Trade Shows

Choose the Right Events

There could be 100,000 visitors at an event you’re exhibiting at but if none of them are part of your target audience, then you’ll be wasting your time. Before excitedly applying to exhibit at the biggest events, do a little research to see which kind of people attend each show.

Attend the trade show as a visitor, rather than an exhibitor to get a feel of the kind of show it is. Talk to the exhibitors and the other visitors to see if your business would be a good fit if it were to exhibit.

Stats show that 45 percent of attendees at an event only visit one trade show each year, so you need to make sure you’re at the right one. Carry out extensive research and you’ll stop yourself from wasting money on a booth at the wrong trade show.

Make the Best Use of Your Time

Every single second should be spent well when you’re trying to sell at a trade show. You need to be working hard from the moment the doors open until the lights in the venue are turned off. Keep in mind that any interaction you have could be one that leads to a sale.

Although it’s important to approach each visitor with the same passion, enthusiasm and welcoming smile, you need to quickly determine who they are and how likely it is that they’re going to become a customer.

There’ll be both busy and quiet periods at your booth. When it’s a bit quieter, you can spend time with a visitor who might want more information on your brand, rather than be looking to buy your product.

However, when it’s busy, you need to maximise your time with the people that matter most. One of the most common mistakes exhibitors make is having their team spend time on visitors who really have no intention of buying anything.

Genuine buyers, influencers and anyone from the press are your key targets. It might be that someone would love to chat about your business, but if they’re not really worth your time, then it’s better to politely move on.

If you have a small team at the booth, then designate roles for each person to carry out. Someone can attract visitors over, another can then engage with them and give them the pitch that’ll hopefully convince them to become a customer.

You should also have someone in charge of crowd control who can move ‘poor-quality’ visitors along. Establish hand signals or a code and you’ll soon have your booth working like a well-oiled machine.

Refine Your Engagement Techniques

Selling to visitors at trade shows is completely different from any other set of circumstances. The visitors might be ready to buy but you’re competing against the booths either side of you and hundreds of other exhibitors.

Before setting up your booth, it’s worth refreshing your engagement techniques to make sure you’re approaching visitors in the right way. Establish eye contact and have initial opening questions or observations that will naturally lead to a conversation.

A quick “Hi, how are you?” isn’t enough to make someone stop and talk to you. Offer a quick introduction and find out who they are and what their purpose is at the trade show. You need to determine what sort of prospect they are as soon as possible.

The visitor will have heard a lot of introductions and business names that day so don’t waste time with a lengthy speech about the company history. Get straight to the point and show off your product or service.

Set Realistic Goals

Some businesses use trade shows to sell as much stock as possible, so the only key metric they really care about is profit. If you’re a business that has a longer sales cycle, then a good day for you could be to book meetings with important sales executives.

You might not have sold anything during the day, but you’ve networked with industry leaders, booked some calls and arranged potentially lucrative meetings for the near future. This is still a successful day at a trade show.

It can be difficult to report back to the office that you haven’t made many sales, so track other important metrics too. If you know that 10 meetings usually lead to one major sale, then track how many meetings you’ve organised that day.

This can make it easier when you’re providing feedback on the trade show to your superiors. You know how important the day was but all someone else might be interested in is the sales figures. Set clear and realistic goals and you’ll find that your managers are happier with your performance.

Stand Out at Your Next Trade Show

With so much competition at trade shows, you need to make sure your booth is as engaging and eye-grabbing as possible. There are different ways of accomplishing this, but one of the most successful is with large format printing.

To see printing like this in action at other events, make sure to download our free Success Stories eBook using the link below.