If you notice you are doing all the talking at a tradeshow, exhibition or even on a “sales call”, then STOP....  Because that is not what will help you to attract, convert and WIN more business opportunities. Let me explain.

The rules of engagement have changed.  Social selling has had a massive impact on our industry.  We must engage with the Conference & Event Planner on their terms.  They are not buying a conference room, an incentive package or DMC services.  They are buying the results you can help them deliver.

It’s quite an investment of time, money and resources to exhibit at tradeshows.  You need to ensure you get a return on that investment.  I’ve figured out a system that will help you to:
  • Attract more of the right leads (the profitable leads for your business!)
  • Open up more conversations and secure more appointments
  • Ultimately walk away with more business opportunities – real revenue results

There are 3 key steps to take in order to get a bigger Return on Investment in these shows (and sales calls).  These are also the steps I will share in an upcoming virtual training on how to WIN more leads at tradeshows (great news -it’s free and sponsored by EVINTRA).

Step 1. Preparation – this involves thorough preparation examining what your company profile and description is.  We look at how you are positioning yourself in the market place.  We look at what you are writing in emails to secure more appointments.  A big hint here is NOT to start with “Established in 1982, we are the leading and largest DMC in XXX…”

Step 2. Conversation Techniques – at these shows do you notice you are doing all the talking or asking about Dates, Rates and Space?  If so, you are losing out on the BIG opportunity here.  At these shows you have to find the balance between 
  • asking the right questions, 
  • really listening to the answers and 
  • then knowing how to weave your business and how you can help the potential client into your pitch.

Step 3.  Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.  Effective follow-up strategies to nurture the leads you generated and turn them into profitable business.

Here are a few follow-up guidelines:  
  • It can take up to 13 touchpoints with a potential client before the feel the right level of trust to work with you.  Therefore having different types of follow-up is essential.  
  • Key to your conversation technique while at the show is to establish your next step with them – know the date and time you will next speak with them.  
  • Send them a calendar invite for this agreed time.  
  • Most people follow up after a show by email – call them instead, arrange an online meeting or send them a hand written note.  
  • Send them an interesting article based on the conversation you had with them.

If you or your team are selling the same way you were 2 or 3 years ago…STOP.  It is no longer going to help you WIN more business. In my upcoming live virtual training webinar, sponsored by Evintra, I will share strategies that will help you to WIN more leads at IBTM World, IMEX and the many other industry tradeshows taking place in the next 12 months. These tips will also apply to your pro-active sales activities in setting up sales calls and client conversations.  Join us and secure your place on this free webinar sales training here.

A little about the author – Ciara Feely
Ciara is the subject matter expert in the area of sales growth for DMCs, agencies, hotels and CVBs.  Her clients warmly refer to her as “an international black belt in Conference Sales”.
She is described by Jessie States, Director of the MPI Academy as having revolutionised the sales process in the conference & event industry.  She brings her warm Irish welcome to everything she does focusing teams on how to get the EDGE on their competitors and generate sustained revenue results faster.
Ciara is a best-selling author of “Steps to WIN in the Meetings Market”. The Steps to WIN™ Program is a framework and methodology that shows teams how the Buyer Buys.
She is a mother of twins and lives in a little village in Ireland where the native language of Ireland “Gaeilge” is still spoken.  Community is very important to her both in her work and home life.  That is why the community in this industry is a great fit for her.