I love going to Business expo’s, it gives me such joy to be around inspiring business owners and entrepreneurs. To observe, to listen to get curious and experience everything that a potential client does in those situations. It’s important to be on the receiving end of a sales script, presentation, learning opportunity to keep growing and developing and interestingly enough, seeing where you can add value and noticing how far you have come.I went to one recently, which inspired this post to share with you what I learned and experienced, which will hopefully have you diving on into attending an expo and knocking it out of the park!
So let me tell you what I initially observed….
- Almost everyone at each of the stands appeared pretty nervous, none of them came alive doing what they were doing and it surprised me.
- Very few of the exhibitors seemed confident in their purpose for attending, were they selling their service or product, or building a relationship. Their approach seemed a little directionless…
- Most of them didn’t seem excited to be there, like genuinely, I felt their uncomfortableness
- There didn’t seem to be a plan, an intention, a direction of purpose for the expo and it’s layout, that was easily communicated or understood…
You don’t need a fancy stand or stall to stand out, when you love what you do you glow!
Now do not get me wrong, it was great, they were great and Im hoping they all got what they needed.But it made me see clearly some things they could have all done to up their game, from a customer or collaborators point of view, and I want to share those with you.Because I’ve been there, I’ve been an expo stall holder and it’s nerve racking – there’s more people there than your ideal client and you’ve got a certain amount of time to make an impression and impact. And starting a conversation when you’re an introvert is intimidating and exhausting! And I can so clearly see now how I could have improved my exhibiting skills and approaches before the event. So I am grateful for what I observed yesterday, for what I learnt and for the growth it showed me in myself and my business.
Here are some pointers for you to consider
- Set your intention for the day, who do you want to meet, what do you want to learn and what do you want to give?
- Get clear on who you want to attract, what you want them to know and how you want to continue the conversation after the expo. If you know this, you’ll be far more confident in your approach.
- Connect with each person, do not see them as a prospect or a potential sale. Treat them as a person and be there to share your accomplishments, your expertise as a gift, a conversation.
- Ask relatable questions, practise a few opening lines with a difference. Everyone else is asking ‘what you do?’, ‘what brought you to the expo?’, ‘what are you looking for?’. Instead ask what that person needs and try to help them find it. Give more than you expect to get, set the tone for the interaction with you.
- Know your why, know your story and share it. It’s all well and good if you have a membership you’re selling to a program but qualify me, tell me why I’d need it & how it would make my life or business better. Choose me! Make me feel wanted and special!
- Ask if you’d be open to following up with you. Don’t just take business cards, it’s so impersonal. Go the extra mile and connect. Be the person they remember from the expo for all the right reasons.
- Read body language while interacting, be more interested than reciting your stuff. Ask how the persons receiving the information. This is a great way to do Market Research!
- Make sure your signs are easy to read and tell me quickly what you do. So I know if I want to chat about it.
- You are the expert, have confidence in your accomplishments, be proud of your results or products. Get into this space and connect with people from this space, this is your zone of genius, you’re compelling, passionate & purposeful from this zone – show this You to the expo!
- Be your Brand – dress for success, you want to stand out and look and feel fabulous. Do not get lost in the crowd! (But layer because you never know on temperatures)
- Consider your giveaways and be clear on who they are for and why, do not make it too easy to enter, you want people winning who actually want to work with you. So also consider if they have to stay until a certain time to win on the day, or buy a low level offering to be in to win. Do not make it a free for all – stand firm in your offerings and value your gift and make sure each entrant is intentional also.
- When collecting emails ask if people want to sign up for your email subscription or to hear about offers. This is the best way to know who you’re targeting and have permission to further contact them. Business cards are too simple, get them to write for their commitment to being followed up with.
- Request that they like your social media pages, make it easy to find you, maybe have them do it there and then to get an extra entry into your prize draw, think outside the box to engage with people and stand out from all the other exhibitors.
- You don’t need a fancy stand or stall to stand out, when you love what you do you glow!
If you’ve not done an event like this it is such an amazing opportunity to participate in, I highly recommend it. It enables another level of growth and discomfort, but I believe the more you experience and expose yourself too the better you and your business become!
I hope this has given you something to think about when you next present yourself and your Business at an expo!
Alison Callan is The Clarity and Success Coach for Aspiring and Conscious Entrepreneurs, as well as an Internationally Accredited Coach and Mindfulness Consultant, Facilitator and Speaker.
Committed to helping You mindfully align with your mission to create Conscious Business with Purpose, Confidence and Ease. So that you live a life you love and deserve with Clarity through Conscious Creation.