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222 – PRO TIP 10 – Don’t Pre-judge Attendees – all about Engagement

Trade Show PRO Tip #10 – Don’t Pre-Judge Attendees

One of the top things I see exhibitors doing which holds them back from reaching their potential, but really goes unnoticed, is they pre-judge the attendees walking past their booth.

What I’m talking about is looking at someone approaching your booth and looking at them and deciding whether or not to engage with them based on their age, what they’re wearing, if they’re a man or a woman, or even what company they are from.

Understand that you don’t know this person and you don’t know their role in the company until you ask them.  Getting people into your booth is all about Engagement!

Let me tell you a story.  Was working a show several years ago with a company selling big-ticket equipment to fire departments.  Had a couple of people in my booth who were territory sales reps. 

An attendee starts approaching with a Baltimore Fire Dept tshirt, glances toward our booth as he walks past. I turned to the person next to me who was the rep for Baltimore and said, why didn’t you talk to that guy?  He said, he’s probably a firefighter. He’s not who I want to talk to.  I said, do you think he might know

Another way we pre-judge – the person isn’t looking in my direction.  Maybe they are looking the other way, or at their phone, or talking with someone they’re walking with.

Here’s the deal – this person could be your next big customer and may only walk past your booth one time.  If you knew that was the case, would you just let them pass? I hope not!

Feel free to grab their attention!  Say excuse me so they’re looking at you!  Then ask them questions to qualify them.  This isn’t hard, and don’t think you’re being too salesy. The attendees are there to do business as much as you are!

And if you’re an introvert waiting until someone comes up to you – we need to break you of that bad habit my friend!  I am an introvert at heart and battled with this for a long time.  You just have to put it behind you and reach out to attendees walking by.  The worst thing that happens is they’ll say no.  No big deal!

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE: 134 – Tips for Introverts (LINK)


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About the author, Jim

Jim Cermak has over 30 years of exhibiting, planning and working trade shows. As a Professional Trainer, he helps companies transform their results at trade shows, expos, events and conferences.

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