Yes, trade show prospecting is important.
Trade shows give you the opportunity to talk to people who are usually unreachable. The neutral territory of a trade show floor offers a unique chance to approach prospects who would otherwise never even talk to you.
On a trade show floor, you can show off equipment and services that would be difficult or impossible to take into a customer’s location. People can touch, feel, taste, smell and see your product or service benefits firsthand.
And you can reach lots of people in a very short time, which is another great advantage of trade show prospecting.
Instead of jumping in your car or on an airplane to make those calls in person, you can be right in front of many of your best prospects in just a matter of hours.
Plus, you can schedule business meetings in environments that would otherwise be very expensive or virtually impossible to arrange.
3 secrets for trade show prospecting success
The first secret is to plan what you want to accomplish and how to accomplish it comfortably.
Decide in advance whom you really would like to see at the show. Create a “hit list” of buyers to whom you want to sell and then do everything in your power to get them to meet with you at the show.
The second secret is to be very observant – this includes customers and competitors.
And the third is to ask lots and lots of questions whenever you can.
Competitive advantages of trade show prospecting
Learning about your competitors is a key selling strategy. Here are three competitive advantages to be gained at trade shows:
- Find out what’s new. Some 50% of all show attendees want to see what’s new in products and services.
- See competitors and compare prices. One research project shows that 93% of show attendees compared similar products, 50% requested a call from a sales rep, 73% asked for a price quote, and 53% found at least one new supplier.
- Visit different suppliers, hear their presentations, and compare each vendor’s point of view. Almost half (49%) have made purchases at a trade show.