1. DO wear pants or jackets with pockets - you will need them. If you can’t, organize your purse or spiral note book so that your cards are easy to reach on one side and the cards you collect are easy to put on the other side
2. DO bring enough cards to put into exhibitor bowls – put those cards in your left hand pocket
3. DO prepare in advance 3 quick questions you want to ask all exhibitors that will help you determine if they “qualify” for your product or service. For example, I might ask, very quickly:
By the way… who does sales training at your company?
Are you planning on hiring /growing your staff this coming year?
How often do you/ management provide employees/you with an annual/quarterly performance review?
4. DO carry a pen in your hand as you approach their table
5. DO ask how they are doing at the expo/trade show and WHAT they do. Let them talk for a few minutes.
6. DO ask your 3 quick questions and write their answers on the back of THEIR card which you have picked up. If they are REALLY qualified, write an A on that card. If they are somewhat qualified write a B, and not qualified a C. Then put that card in your right hand pocket
7. DON’T sell to an exhibitor, but if they are “qualified” for you, ask if you can call them in a week after they have recovered from the follow-up work they need to do after the trade show.
8. DO shake hands and wish them a “successful event” as you leave them – if it’s busy and they have lots of visitors, don’t spend more than 3-5 minutes at their table.
9. DON’T leave your drink or food on their table – preferably eat and drink in the food area, not on the trade show floor, but make sure you discard your garbage in trash bins.
10. DON’T stand in front of their table talking to someone you met at the show and making it difficult for new visitors to their table to see them – this is one of my Pet Peeves when I have a trade show table
11. DO input all the A’s and B’s into your database with your notes/answers to the questions so you don’t forget them. You can do it that evening…or the next workday. Enter the C’s over a weekend.
12. DON’T send them anything at least a week after the trade show/expo. Unless they specifically asked you to call them/send them YOUR information immediately, they have too much follow-up to do to make THEIR leads count (and their investment in the trade show) that first week. BUT, you can spend the week after the expo drafting an “It was so nice to meet you at the ______________” template email and then customize it to the specific conversations you had with each A or B lead.