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Can Your Trade Show Staff Quickly Qualify Leads Or Are They Wasting Everyone’s Time?

Many companies who maintain a presence at one or more trade shows or conferences on a regular basis train their employees on how to set up table top displays, what to wear when they’re manning the company booth and even how to network when they’re off duty, but they often neglect one of the most important aspects of working a trade show – quickly qualifying leads. While your employees may be confident in their ability to qualify solid leads, the reality is that doing so when they’re on the floor at an event is drastically different from doing so when they’re on a sales call or in a meeting with a known, potential customer. Everything has to happen in a matter of seconds when you’re at an event where you’re competing with dozens or even hundreds of other exhibitors.

Listening Instead Of Talking

Although it may seem obvious, many people who man table top displays or island exhibits at industry venues try too hard to sell their company’s products or services to every visitor who steps into their booth area. This can quickly turn people off; remember, they will be talking to hundreds of people during the course of the day. They don’t want to hear another generalized sales pitch. They want to be heard. They want to tell your employees about what they need or want rather than being told what they should want. The more you let visitors talk, the more you’ll learn about their needs. From there, you can let them know how your company can fulfill those needs.

Asking And Answering The Right Questions

If a visitor isn’t forthcoming about what they want or why they’re visiting your table top displays, ask a few open-ended questions. Don’t make the mistake of asking if you can help them or other questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no; these can shut down potential conversations with no easy way to get back on track. Instead, ask whether they are enjoying the trade show or if they’ve been enjoying the presentations. Their answers can give you an easy way to segue into a conversation about their specific needs and how your company can help. Rather than focusing on how great your company is, you’ll be focusing on pro-active ways that you can help qualified leads solve a problem, increase production or upgrade their current practices. The key is to hone in on the specifics rather than simply giving away generic information that they’ve picked up from your competitors at other table top displays.

Some Open Ended Questions To Get You Started

While there is no guaranteed set of questions that will work in every situation, asking variations of the questions below can help you quickly determine whether visitors are qualified to make decisions and purchases, how soon they will be making a purchase and whether they actually need your products or services.

Opening Questions

1. Are you enjoying the show so far?
2. Have you gained enough information about the product/service your company needs?
3. Has your company achieved its goals for this event?
4. How can I improve your company’s results?

Follow-Up/Closing Questions

1. Can we schedule an appointment to discuss your needs in more detail?
2. How soon will you need to make a decision?
3. What else can we do to help?
4. Is there anything else you’d like to know?
5. May I send you some more information?

There are nearly endless variations on these questions that can be used to keep your company fresh in visitors’ minds long after the table top displays are packed away. Using them wisely will help you quickly determine which leads are qualified and which are simply browsing the trade show floor.

Using Materials From Your Table Top Displays To Reinforce Your Message

You no doubt have brochures or flyers on display at table top displays or your other booth elements. Use these to reinforce your message to qualified leads. Rather than simply handing them a brochure, take a few seconds to highlight specific points in your brochure that are relevant to their needs. Using a brightly colored highlighter to reinforce these points will customize your pitch. You may also want to jot down a short message or your cell phone number to personalize the materials. Once you’ve found qualified leads, it’s easier to engage them and pitch your products or services in an effective way.

Skyline Event Services’ designers and consultants provide businesses with exceptional table top displays in Cleveland ( for every budget. To discover budget-friendly trade show exhibit options, visit Skyline today at

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