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There are certain trade-show selling behaviors that can derail your sales efforts. These behaviors included: neglecting to commit to specific objectives beforehand, neglecting to draw people into your booth, neglecting to separate suspects and prospects, neglecting to ask questions, and neglecting to get a decision.

Here are four more to avoid:

  1. Neglecting to adjust outside selling styles to trade-show selling: Trade shows can be noisy, distracting, and not the most advantageous places to conduct a sales interview with a visitor. Because of this, you may need to have a space within, or near, your exhibit where you can talk in a less noisy environment and relate comfortably with, and listen to, visitors.
  1. Neglecting to do more than “put in your time”: While at a trade show, your reminder to yourself should be: There’s always one more thing to do. At the start of the day, reflect on your objectives for that day. For example—the number of visitors you want to talk with, the number of sales to make, the number of post-show appointments you want to return home with. At the end of the day, review your objectives met and unmet and what you want to achieve in the day ahead. Your time at a trade show needs to be proactive and attuned to visitors and their needs at the show.
  1. Neglecting to understand your role as the person working the show: It’s easy to forget that while at the trade show, you are your company. It’s your job to be fully present with a customer-service attitude and behaviors to do, whatever it takes to welcome people into the world of your company at the show and to communicate your company’s culture in this context.
  1. Neglecting to plan to follow up after the show: It’s easy to fall into the mental trap of thinking a trade show is over the conclusion of the show. But it’s not. The trade show is only over first when you’ve completed your specific follow-up plan and second, when you’ve completed the follow-up activities like meeting with prospects you’ve agreed to meet with during the show, emailing follow-up notes, and making the telephone calls you’ve agreed to make.

Contrary to the opinion of many a salesperson, attending and tending to a trade show is not a passive event. Quite the contrary. A trade show is an active event par excellence from start to finish.

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