Trade Shows — “Come Back with Prospects, Not Just Leads”

Trade Shows — “Come Back with Prospects, Not Just Leads”

Long days…sore feet… tired back. Sound like your typical trade show? To make the show worthwhile you’ve got to put in the effort. What better place to talk to and meet scores of current users and potential users of your product or service. Here are some basics for the booth:

The goal is to draw people to the booth – stop them in the aisle.

  • Separate suspects from prospects.
  • Get information to qualify suspects from prospects.
  • Know what to do/next step with a prospect.
  • Don’t just “swipe” their I.D. badge, find out why they’re there, what they do, what they’re looking for.
  • “Move along” non-qualified suspects

Qualifying at the booth:

  • Are they truly “in the market” for what you sell?
  • Do they have a “true project?”
  • Is the project funded?
  • Decision process? Who is involved in the process? Will they be at the show? (get name)
  • Time schedule?
  • What information do they want?
  • What do they need?
  • What are their priorities?
  • How do you follow up? (get commitments)

Approach them (Don’t ask “May I help you?” It usually gets the “I’m just looking” response)


  1. What brings you to the show? (get them to talk)
  2. Would it be okay to ask a few questions? (to help qualify)
  • Do you currently use_____?
  • Would new_________ be of any interest to you? (If yes – give a brief 25 word commercial)
  • Usually we find that people who are interested in ______ have experienced some problems or concerns with their_____. Is that the case with you?
  • (Determine if there is a compelling reason to continue the conversation) Engage the prospect… ask questions if there is a fit.


Close for the Next Step

  1. How should we follow up? what do you see as a next step? (get commitment)
  • Follow up immediately with prospects.
  • Literature doesn’t sell products. Most get thrown away….at the show. (Studies indicate as high as 75% is tossed) Use literature as a follow up.
  • Set a goal prior to the show for the number of prospects you want.
  • Have your follow up plan in place before the show.


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