Better sales talks on exhibitions follow this simple strategy

It’s not always easy to have a good sales talk on an exhibition. How you can attract the visitor’s attention and what’s your message? Things can’t go wrong if you follow this strategy.

Steps towards better sales talks

One of the main advantages of participating in a fair, is being amidst your target group. Each exhibition visitor is a potential customer. In a personal conversation with the visitor, you will notice if he/she is truly interested in your product or service, but how do you begin that conversation without coming across as too pushy? Below steps will help you out.

Step 1. Make contact and ask a good opening question.

Visitors pay for information. You don’t have to worry you bother them if you supply that information, as long as it doesn’t concern a pushy sales story.

The first step towards making contact with visitors starts with your posture. Put your mobile phone, you cup of coffee and pen aside. Stand firm, don’t cross your arms (closed position) and look visitors friendly in the eye. If the other person’s reacts, ask an opening question. You can come up with one on the spot, but it’s ok to learn some by heart in advance.

You can always ask your visitor what he/she is doing. Some examples:

•    What are you looking for on this exhibition
•    Does your company ever use product/service x or y?
•    Are you occupied in the branch of trade….?
•    Have you ever had problems with…?

For a good conversation, you should ask open questions. Open questions cannot be answered with just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and usually start with who, what, where, when, why and how.

Although above mentioned questions are closed questions, you will immediately notice if a visitor is part of your target group. In this way you avoid informal talks and you can always continue the conversation by means of an open question, to set someone at ease.



Step 2. Smile and have a smooth, natural conversation

Confidence is essential in a sales talk. Give your visitor the feeling you wish to inform him/her as good as possible and don’t want to sell anything. There is a well-known American expression: “Everyone wants to buy, but no-one wants to be sold.” Through open questions you will create an open rather than a pushy atmosphere.  The conversation won’t flag.

Don’t go into details and stimulate the other person to continue talking by means of nonverbal signals. Smile, don’t check your mobile phone and be sincerely interested. In this way you will, both consciously and unconsciously, leave a positive impression, which is important. After all, if customers have to make a choice between two identical parties, they will pick the one they like best. Make sure it will be you!

Step 3. Close the conversation

Make sure you close the conversation in a pleasant, positive way. It’s your last impression which will last, so take your time. The best result would be a certain ‘commitment’, an – either pronounced or unpronounced, appointment after the exposition. In this way you avoid you won’t hear from the other person again.

How can you reach commitment?

A couple of points of special interest:

  • Summarize what you have discussed. Which problems, chances, wishes, or needs does the visitor have or see?
  • Express your appreciation for carrying out a certain action
  • Explicitly ask if the visitor wants to carry out that action. It doesn’t necessarily have to concern buying, it might be a request for a demo as well.
  • Enquire about future plans. Which developments will play a role in the visitor’s company, when will they be completed?
  • Close the conversation, not routinely. Personally thank your visitor and show you have listened to him/her.
  • Having and closing a good conversation takes time. Take that time and don’t rush through it. You might practise it in advance.
  • Everyone can talk, but not everyone is a marvellous talker. In order to attract customers on a business fair you must improve your conversation skills. It will allow you to have more pleasant conversations, you will leave a better impression and you will ‘sell’ to potential customers, without coming across as pushy. Above mentioned tips will help you out.

Our question

How do you start a conversation on a business fair?: Do you have a particular opening line, which always works? Have you ever made a huge blunder? Let us know, leave a reaction, we are very curious!

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