Why do B2B buyers continue to attend trade shows by the tens of millions, rather than make all their purchases online? Because they want to meet you face to face, to see for themselves what the people who work for your company are really like, and if your company is trustworthy enough to do business with.
Well, attendees won’t trust your company if your booth staffers do these 6 things:
1. Your staffers ignore attendees
It’s hard to believe, but far too often attendees walk into a booth and are ignored by booth staffers – maybe even your booth staffers. This behavior exasperates attendees. If you ignore them in your booth, they would expect to be ignored as a customer. Which is why they are unlikely to ever become a customer.
2. Your staffers do not make eye contact
Attendees can’t make a personal connection if your booth staffer doesn’t pay close enough attention to even look them in the eye. They don’t have to stare; they just have to demonstrate they are paying attention to your visitors, so the visitors feel valued.
3. Your staffers talk without listening
If your staffers are too intent on unloading the same talking points, rather than listen first to what each visitor is trying to achieve at the show, then your staffers’ data dump will fall on deaf ears. Attendees want a dialog, not a diatribe.
4. Your staffers don’t know what they are talking about
Thanks to all that product information on the Internet, today’s trade show attendees are better informed than ever before. So if your booth staffers lack the product and industry knowledge to competently answer questions, attendees will take their business to someone who knows their stuff instead.
5. You hire booth babes instead of brand ambassadors
An assertive, friendly, knowledgeable booth staffer will create far more real opportunity with buyers than a booth babe that will intimidate some men, be avoided by some senior decision makers who don’t want to look like they’re hitting on women, and by many women who are offended by them. If you do not have enough capable booth staffer among your employees, you can hire brand ambassadors, and skip the booth babes.
6. Your staffers stand in front of a confusing or shabby trade show display
Attendees quickly judge how trustworthy your company is by how well your booth represents it. Does it quickly communicate how you can help them solve their problems? Does it show that you are a good company to work with? Or does it send conflicting messages, and look like it needs repair or replacement? Your exhibit will reflect well or poorly on your booth staff.
The goal of branding is to build trust with buyers. If they trust that you represent something they value and need, and can consistently deliver on that promise, then they will reward you with their business and their praise. Make sure your trade show booth staff and your trade show exhibit will help earn, not spurn, that trust.
By: Mike Thimmesch –