How to make 5,000 sales calls in one day!

How to make 5,000 sales calls in one day!

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

The Carolina Business Fair is September 23rd & 24th. The Business Journal will be exhibiting; BuyGitomer will be exhibiting.

Why? 5,000 prospects per day for two days plus over 200 other exhibitors. This is a sales bonanza.

If you could make 20 sales calls per day, it would take over a year to see 5,000 prospects. Anyone who overlooks this opportunity is either extremely wealthy or extremely foolish. Your targets are here, all you have to do is find them.

Your prime objective at a trade show is to qualify the needs of a target/prospect in a way that you can effectively follow up after the show with a call, letter, or offer that leads a qualified prospect to an appointment and a sale.

If you exhibit…Start Early…walk the show on setup night and select targets. When the show opens, ask yourself these critical questions… When I meet a prospect, or a prospect comes up to my booth, what do I want his/her first impression to be; and how quickly can I qualify him or her?

When you meet a prospect…Ask an open ended question…

A question, the answer to which makes the prospect say more than yes or no. When formulating your question, ask yourself…what information do I want to get as a result of asking this question? Can I tell how qualified my prospect is as a result of the question? Does it take more than one question to find out the information I need?

Let’s say I’m in the copier business. I’ve got machines making copies, I’m well dressed, I’ve got expert booth personnel…and a prospect walks up:

  • Tell your name. Hey, I’m Jeffrey…
  • Shake firmly.
  • Tell what you do. We supply Toshiba copiers to some of Charlotte’s finest businesses.
  • Ask an open ended question. What type of copier do you have? (or) What does your company do?
  • Make a statement. Some of our major accounts like …
  • Get together. If you give me your card I’ll arrange a free two-day test or demonstration … when would be a good time to contact you?

Guidelines for working the exhibit booth:

  1. Don’t use a fishbowl unless you give a prize you feel will get qualified leads.
  2. Give ad specialties out personally, don’t leave them in a pile for anyone to grab.
  3. Stand up the entire time.
  4. If more than one is attending from your company, assign coverage responsibilities.
  5. Pay attention to customers immediately.
  6. Have the booth covered 100% of the time.
  7. Qualify each prospect quickly with an open ended question.
  8. Use the four qualifying rules to get leads and make sales.
    1. Establish rapport
    2. Establish need/qualify
    3. Establish interest
    4. Establish next action (mail, call, appointment).
  9. Have lead sheets (and a stapler) if you need information beyond a business card.
  10. See if you have a friend or customer in common.
  11. Write notes on business cards or lead sheets immediately.

Exhibiting also gives you the unspoken/unwritten right to solicit at other booths. This doesn’t mean you can’t sell to exhibitors as a trade show attendee, but if you do, you’d better be fast, accurate, and discreet.

Selling to other exhibitors…

  1. The best selling situation is CEO to CEO.
  2. Don’t interrupt a presentation or conversation in process.
  3. (If you are) Let them know you are an exhibitor, too!
  4. Use a well thought out, rehearsed, BRIEF (1530 second) statement about who you are & what you do.
  5. Try to establish quick rapport and confidence either through mutual friends, known customers, their competition that buys from you, or your ability to explain how your service can benefit them. YOU HAVE LESS THAN THREE MINUTES TO DO THIS.
  6. Get a card, establish the followup, write information on the card, GET MOVING.

As a show attendee or an exhibitor, Qualify, Qualify, Qualify…Use a well thought out, rehearsed, BRIEF statement about who you are, what you do, and why you’re better than anyone else. Rapport must be established in one or two minutes. Try to establish needs and confirm to the prospect that a call back or mailout will take place. Immediately write on the back of their business card all info you will need when the return call is made. Spend between 13 minutes per prospect if the floor is crowded.

How to work the exhibit floor:

  1. 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.
  2. Talk and look (without being rude).
  3. Be brief.
  4. If you are an exhibiting CEO, walk around 50% of the time.
  5. No place is offlimits to make a contact. Carry your cards into the bathroom…you never know.
  6. Write important notes on back of card that second.
  7. Look professional.
  8. Don’t sell your product or service, just sell an appointment.
  9. Don’t prejudge.
  10. Establish need…Determine level of interest…Confirm a call back/appointment.

Be aware of time. If you see one prospect every three minutes for nine hours, that’s only 180 prospects per day. If 5,000 people per day attend, that’s less than 4% of the audience. Every second is valuable.

A trade show can be your best selling opportunity of the year. Don’t miss it.


30Second Personal Commercial Worksheet. If you don’t already have a 30Second Personal Commercial, you’re losing sales! This worksheet will step you through the writing process. Just go to, register if you’re a first time user and enter the word WORKSHEET in the GitBit box.

A trade show is one of the most cost effective marketing methods
either as an attendee or exhibitor.