Business Fair…Sales Opportunity of the Year

Business Fair…Sales Opportunity of the Year

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

Editor’s note: We recognize that many salespeople read The Business Journal each week for information and sales leads. This is a weekly column dedicated to the science of selling, presenting practical information about making sales today.

…Sales Moves…
practical information about making sales today.

Business Fair… Sales Opportunity of the Year

The Carolina Business Fair is about opportunity selling, prospecting and relationship building. How will you take advantage of it?

It’s also about time, and the proper use of it. If 7,500 people will attend over a two day, twenty hour span, what does that mean to you? And what should you do about it?

Here are 23.5 success rules and observations to help you work the show and understand it’s power…

1. How long does it take you to make 7,500 sales calls anyplace other than a trade show? At twenty a day which is a lot of (outside) calls it would take you 375 days (1.5 work years) to make 7,500 sales calls. Wow. If you telemarketed 125 calls a day, it would take you 60 days to make 7,500 calls. Wow.

2. Taking advantage of a trade show, the most cost effective sales opportunity of the year, requires preparation. Lots of it. You better be ready to win if you expect to win. Be ready with your exhibit, your stuff, your staff. Be prepared with your pitch, have your information at your command…rehearsed, practiced and polished.

3. Have a set of goals and objectives for what you will to do, who you want to meet or sell and what you expect to win (number of leads, hot prospects, sales)

4. Start Early Walk the show and network on setup night. Be there early every day, be the last to leave.

5. Be a team… split responsibilities If more than one person is attending from your company, splitup & assign responsibilities.

6. If you want to say hello to everyone, do it fast, you’ve got about 7.5 seconds per person. You better be able to qualify fast. Real fast. BUT, (and this is a big but) when a person seems to be a good prospect, spend a little extra time building some rapport for the follow up.

7. Don’t prejudge anybody You never know what bigwig may decide to come in casual clothing, or wear someone else’s badge so he won’t be bugged.

8. Be brief Your remarks (other than questions) should be no more than 60 seconds.

9. Be to the point Say something that tells the other person exactly what you do in terms of the prospect’s needs.

10. You’re going to be face to face with decision makers and people who influence them. Be focused, be your best. Be alert to seize the opportunity when it is presented to you.

11. Shake firmly. Your handshake reflects your attitude. No one wants to shake hands with a dead fish.

12. Have power questions & power statements ready Prepare a list in advance and rehearse them.

13. Establish buyer need How can you sell anyone anywhere, if you don’t know what they need.

14. Get the information you need by probing first Don’t talk too much too soon. Ask power and followup questions that generate information, establish interest, determine need, and allow you to give your information in a meaningful way. Ask your best questions and have your most concise message ready to deliver when the timing is right. Before you deliver your problem solving capabilities, know enough about the other person so that your information has impact. Know when to say what.

15. Show (tell) how you solve problems He is bored to know what you do, unless you tell him in a way that serves him, or you have something the prospect thinks he needs. The prospect doesn’t care what you do, unless what you do helps him.

16. Determine level of interest If they need what you sell, how hot do they seem to buy? Note their interest level on their business card.

17. Pin the prospect down to the next action Don’t let a good prospect go without some agreement of what’s next.

18. Use prospect’s business cards as sales tools. Write information on the back of them as you speak and immediately after they depart. If you get 250 cards and have no notes on the back of them to followup after the show your effectiveness is reduced by 50% or more. You can even write tentative appointment times on the back of yours and hers to be confirmed after the show.

19. Fight the urge to talk with fellow employees and friends. It’s a disadvantage to both of you, and a huge waste of time.

20. Read badges fast. Stay alert for your target badges (prospects you have selected, customers you’ve never met, types of businesses likely to need you) …in the booth, in the aisles, eating.

21. Sell everywhere. No place is off limits to make contact. Aisles, other booths, bathrooms, getting food be on the alert for the people you’re looking to meet. Read badges every place. You never know when you’ll bump into a major prospect. (or miss one if you’re not paying attention)

22. Be remembered Say, give or do something that will stay in the prospect’s mind (in a positive, creative way).

23. Time’s up When you have delivered your message, made your contact and secured the next meeting or action move on.

23.5. Have a great time Don’t press or be pressured, it will show. Trade shows are like life, the better attitude you have the more successful you’ll be.

The Business Fair is a two day sales bonanza. Take advantage of it.

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