Now that I am done with the ten-part series on what not to do at trade shows, I figured I should do another, more positive, series of tradeshow “Dos”. Here’s the first part – How to be confident and engaging:
So, you are at your booth, you know your product or service inside and out. Great. How you are going to portray yourself and your product, however, is what is going to tilt the scale in your favor (or not). You may know all there is to know about your industry and product, but if you dress like you are going to a funeral, you are very soft spoken and you really look like you don’t want to be there, chances are your potential customers won’t find you too appealing and are likely to exit your booth before you are done with your speech.
Trade shows are just that, shows. It’s the place to shine and put on a show, establish rapport with leads and turning them into customers by the end of your demo. Wear bright colored tops and rehearse your speech in front of a mirror if you need to. Become aware of your body language. Your shoulders should be back, your chest up like Superman to exude confidence. Speak with a smile on your face. If you are planning on shaking hands (I’m a big fan of that and hand sanitizer ), make sure you mean it and shake firmly to reiterate the sign that you, your product and the brand you represent are strong and stable.
If trade shows are not your strong suit, either ask to be replaced and explain that your shyness or nervousness prevent you from performing to the company’s expectations. If like me you can’t avoid it, then prepare like you’re going to the World Championships of something (that’s my thing), breathe deep, take a look at a family picture if that’s helpful to you, flip the switch, get in the role and just get it done. Pretend that you are in a survival situation and that life depends on you. Setting a personal goal might also be helpful, and with practice you will become perfect.
For more on the trade show tips series, click here