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4 Tips for a Successful Trade Show – Sandler Training

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Hamish Knox

Sandler Training





Written by Hamish Knox; President of Sandler in Calgary, Canada

Trade shows are typically treated as a selling activity, which reduces return on investment because trade shows are a prospecting activity. Below are four tips that will increase your return on investment at your next trade show.

1. The purpose of prospecting is to get an appointment – when a suspect stops at your booth you have a very limited amount of time (see next tip) to determine if they are a prospect and book a meeting. A trade show floor is not the time to talk pricing or implementation as you don’t know if you want to work with this suspect.

2. Remember 5, 30, 90 – you have 5 seconds to engage someone who stops at your booth, 30 seconds to understand a little bit about the reason why they stopped and 90 seconds to confirm an appointment (phone or in-person) before thanking your prospect and moving to the next conversation.

3. It’s about them not about you – why did this person stop at your booth? ASK! They might be fishing for giveaways or they might have a real problem that they believe you can solve. Something like, “thanks for stopping. What prompted you to stop?” <prospect shares problem> “thanks for sharing. Would you give me an example of how that is happening right now? Is it worth fixing? Okay, now’s probably not the time to have that discussion. Would you be open to a conversation next week to figure out if we can help you with that?”
It is easy to slip into features-and-benefits selling when you’re at a trade show, especially if you have an impressive display. Keep the focus on your prospect and you’ll get more, legitimate appointments in your calendar

4. Make attendees earn your product information – if you plan to bring brochures, put them out of sight and tape one to a table at the back of your booth. This helps you in two ways: 1) you reduce the number of people who take a brochure and walk away without a conversation and 2) if someone goes all the way to the back of your booth and attempts to pick up a brochure that’s a great opportunity to start a conversation. If a prospect agrees to a call or meeting after the show they’ve earned a brochure. If not they don’t get one.

Trade shows can deliver great return on investment if you shift your mindset from selling to prospecting.

We are offering an all day workshop open to the public solely based on Networking.

Register to be part of Networking Works! Stampede Edition and leave with the tools to:

  1. Overcome negative attitudes about networking
  2. Deliver 10 and 30 second commercials that make you stand out
  3. Build rapport quickly
  4. Define your ideal prospect
  5. Get real commitments instead of “call me sometime”


Register for Thursday, June 16, 2016 (5 seats remaining)

Until next time…go sell something.

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