Thriving at Trade Shows – Interacting With Visitors
There are two main components to participating in a trade show; the event planning and the interactions with visitors while there. You can have all your ducks in a row before you get there; theme, strategy, logistics, etc., but if you don’t interact with the visitors well, you will not close the deal. Period.
Interaction with trade show visitors is the most crucial part of any event in which you participate. Why? Because that is where visitors can judge whether their energy is compatible with yours. If you feel shy and withdrawn, you are giving off an energy that says, “stay away.” If you are outgoing and they sense you are glad to see them, a new relationship begins. And this is the moment where you connect with people who may support your business for a long time. After all, meeting new customers is the whole reason to participate!
It can be difficult to suddenly be “on” for a show if you are normally a quiet person. However, the benefits of being there can be huge for your business. So how can you find a way to shine for the event that doesn’t drain your energy?
One trick is to fake it. Many salespeople will tell you they step into a different persona when it comes time to sell. Some even have a different name (in their mind) for this other personality. The one thing they all seem to have in common is that the new character is forthcoming, personable, and confident.
It may sound counterintuitive to become someone that you think you aren’t for a trade show, but it isn’t. You aren’t becoming a complete opposite of yourself; you are just tapping into another part of your personality. We all have opposite sides within in us, this trick allows you to be that other personality for a few hours and then it’s back to being you.
This change can happen with a mindset, or you can reinforce it with apparel accessories. Something added that reminds you that the outgoing personality is in charge at the moment. Frequently a piece of jewelry or piece of clothing is used that triggers memories of a high-vibration moment. Or even something that is out of the ordinary that makes you feel empowered and strong.
When you can release your inner extrovert for a few hours with permission from your consciousness, you become the person visitors want to mingle with, buy from, and ultimately see again. All because they felt you wanted them in your space. It’s a form of emotional availability that those around you will recognize on a subliminal level.
Regardless of how you get there, you want to be engaging with visitors to tell them why your products or services are desirable. Make sure you know about your business, products, and services. A poor understanding of what you are selling comes across as unprofessional and shows a lack of respect for customers. If you don’t take the time to know, there is no reason for them to trade money with you.
Start the conversation with visitors with a genuine smile and hello, then relax and allow the conversation to build into a positive encounter. This type of interaction is how relationships start.
It is helpful to have a few cue cards available to remind you of valuable information for your products or service. If you are really nervous, create a list of important points you want to make with customers. From there, expand into an outline of how a conversation might sound. Write a script and practice it out loud and often before the event.
For added courage, you can recite affirmations before the show which reminds you of your expertise, training, and knowledge about what you provide. You have worked hard to grow your business, and it is worthwhile to remind yourself that you actually know what you are doing!
Don’t be afraid to try these techniques the next time you feel uncomfortable, even if it is just for a few minutes to test the waters. Take a deep breath and allow the confident one to takeover. It doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. It is simply a mental shift from one perception to another: from fearful to empowered.
Interactions with show visitors can be overwhelming if you let it. Choose not to let it be that way. You are worthy of being seen in that space at that moment. Own it!
This article is the tenth in a series of Thriving at Trade Shows as we prepare for the 2020 Alternative Health Expo. Check back weekly for new tips on how you can optimize the experience and make your participation a success!
Kathie Fingerson is the founder of the Alternative Health Expo which attracts thousands of visitors each spring to Grand Junction, CO. See more tips on creating a successful expo experience, click here.
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