With hundreds, maybe thousands of attendees walking the trade show aisles, it isn’t always clear which ones are in need of a product or service like yours. Greeting and acknowledging each person that steps inside your trade show booth is important, but the amount of time you spend talking to each one depends entirely on their interest level. Spending too much time making small talk with attendees who are not in the market for your products could cause prospective customers to slip through your fingers, resulting in a loss of sales for you. Asking the right questions could help you determine which ones are leads very quickly.
- Do They Have a Need for Your Product or Service?
Instead of trying to persuade attendees who have no need for your product, ask them if there is a problem they need solved. Once you have a better understanding of the dilemma they are facing, you will be able to determine if your product or services would be a good solution.
- Is There Another Solution to the Problem?
After figuring out what problem the prospect needs solved, troubleshoot whether there is a different solution that could help. This may or may not involve purchasing your product, but they will definitely remember you as the person who resolved their predicament, possibly making them customers down the road.
- Are They Able to Spend The Money?
Money is a huge factor in whether or not someone is interested in what your company is offering, especially if they are on a tight budget. If these attendees merely just want to get information for when they are ready to do business, I highly suggest having brochures and promotional literature neatly placed near the aisles of your booth so that these individuals can easily get all of the information they need while you are speaking to someone who is more qualified lead.
- Are They Decision-Makers for Their Company?
Knowing how much purchasing power your prospects have is important in determining how much time should be spent engaging with them. If they are just searching for information on your company or products in order to bring it back to their supervisor, hand out a brochure with all of the information needed to make the buying decision. However, if they can make the purchase decision, take the time to thoroughly discuss what your business has to offer, answering any additional questions they may have.
- How Soon Do They Need A Solution?
Another important factor in whether or not an attendee is a qualified lead. If an attendee isn’t in need of your product anytime soon, I wouldn’t spend too much time going through the sales process. Also, if they have a signed contract with a competitor that they can’t get out of, time would be wasted for both you and the attendee. Instead, ask questions to determine their urgency to come up with a solution to their problem.
In no way should an attendee be ignored just because they are not serious buyers, but more time should be spent with prospects that are ready to make the purchase now. These questions will help you establish which ones are ready to become customers.
Kristen Hovde, Website Content Manager for Smash Hit Displays
Kristin Hovde is the Website Content Manager for Smash Hit Displays, an online trade show display company. Along with keeping the website’s products and information updated, she has written numerous blogs with topics ranging from marketing, social media, and trade show planning.
Written by: Kristin Hovde