What makes the difference between walking away from a tradeshow with a fresh list of hot leads…. and trudging away exhausted with nothing to show for it but a dejected look on your face and a waste of good marketing dollars?
If I had to give it to you in a single word, it would be….. attraction.
That’s right. Good old fashioned attraction. And with the right tools, attracting prospects to your tradeshow booth can be a breeze.
This article will give you some helpful tips on how to attract visitors to your booth so you get more names onto that all-important mailing list.
Can we turn up the lights please?
Beyond getting names onto your list, the most compelling reason to have a booth or display at a tradeshow exhibit is because you’re introducing or launching a new product.
After all, the best way to get attention and generate leads for a new solution is to demonstrate it.
Bob Bly, in his highly recommended book Business to Business Direct Marketing, says that the first step in any tradeshow demonstration is getting the prospect’s attention.
Sounds obvious, but sadly, nanotechnology companies can often get more yawns than attention simply because their product is, to put it mildly, not as exciting as they think it is.
One of Bly’s biggest pieces of advice for businesses when demonstrating a very technical product or service is to add a little flair.
Now I realize that any scientists or engineers reading that last sentence might roll their eyes. But I’m not talking about over-the-top circus acts here. There are simple ways to add some interest and engagement to your demonstration that reel in your prospects.
For instance, think about using interactive technology, such as games, product surveys and virtual demonstrations to deliver a memorable promotional experience. You can also include giveaways, contests and other forms of entertainment.
Schedule some time with your team to brainstorm ways to add a little creativity to your demonstration. Think of creating an experience rather than just a run-of-the-mill demo.
Keeping their attention
Remember that your primary goal is to gain and hold attention.
Once you’ve attracted prospects to your booth, your sales people can take care of the rest. Just make sure they’re not shoving brochures in the faces of potential buyers and scaring them away.
They need to be engaging, helpful and ask plenty of questions to get to the heart of what your prospects want.
For more on this, I recommend David Sandler’s book ‘You can’t teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar’. It’s a fantastic book for sales people that teaches how to lead your prospect by asking questions.
Oh, and one other thing: make sure your copy does its job. Things to keep in mind:
- Convey information in bullet points and keep sentences short and to the point
- Focus on the most important benefit. You don’t have a lot of room for text, so make sure your copy highlights this benefit above the rest.
- Techniques for writing good headline copy apply to tradeshow display copy. So learn how to write headlines that get attention and then use them for exhibits.
Be sure to dress well and keep the booth clean. And remain standing (do not sit down).
Content that works for you
Once you’ve gained the attention of your prospects, now what do you do. Well, aside from creating a memorable experience through your brilliantly creative product demo, you can also give them handouts for a more lasting effect.
Customer success stories make terrific handouts and they’re even better when you condense it to a single slide that your sales team can use.
This slide summarises the before and after scenarios of your customer in a way that demonstrated how your nanotech solutions solved real problems.
Handouts and content should convey a story and how you’ve helped others with your nanotechnology solutions. They should not be blatant sales pitches or feature-laden brochures.
To wrap up, it’s also critical that you use preshow promotion to generate awareness for your display long before the date of the tradeshow. The best way to do this is through direct mail and advertising to get people to come to the show and visit your booth.
Mention the show in your ads and mail letters to your list with imprinted invitations, literature and personal letters.
Direct mail, when done right, is a terrific example of direct marketing that can generate a substantial response.
Next week, we’ll talk more about how you can apply a direct-response approach to tradeshow selling to get even better results.
Talk to you then,
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