How many of you have had to deal with attendees who are clearly not in the market for your products or services, yet enjoy standing in your show booth and making small talk?
My guess is that every single person reading this is raising their hands right now. There is nothing wrong with making people comfortable enough at your exhibit to stay for long periods of time, in fact, this is something you should strive to accomplish with all attendees. The problem with this situation is the fact that the longer they take up your valuable time to shoot the breeze , the more qualified leads will slip through your fingers. Here are some ideas on how to stay friendly and professional, while spending more time with potential leads and less with the wanderers who insist on staying at your exhibition booth.
Don t Lead Them On
After you discover they are not they are in the market for what you re selling, say something to the attendee that lets them know that it sounds like they don t need your product or service, but keep the door open for future business. An example of what could be said is, I m sorry that our products/services are not something you need at the moment, but here is my business card if you would like to learn more about them. This will potentially bring new business in the future, while gently letting the attendee know that you need to move on to another attendee.
Body Language is a Powerful Thing
Positive body language would include a firm handshake, eye contact, and moving in towards the attendee. These moves will let them know you are interested in keeping the conversation going. If you are trying to end the conversation on the other hand, shake their hand and let them know you enjoyed meeting them and hope to talk to them again in the future. Even by turning your body slightly when ending the conversation will let the attendee know you are on your way to a different attendee.
Give Business Cards to All Booth Visitors
Although the attendee may be wasting your time discussing the weather or what his plans for the day is, make sure they leave your booth with a business card in hand. Although he is not in the market for your product today, he may be able to send business your way or let his supervisor know about your company, which can easily turn into future business.
These ideas will let the attendee down easy without hurting any feelings, which could possibly turn into a sale down the road. Along with these tips, be polite and positive in order to leave a great impression on your audience.