Above and beyond the very best portable exhibition stands in the world, there is one thing that counts for more than anything else whatsoever when attending a trade show. Quite simply, if you do not perfect your trade show pitch ahead of time, it’s game over.
What’s uniquely challenging about the trade show environment is the way in which things are so incredibly fast paced and chaotic that you only ever have a matter of seconds to sell yourself to your prospects. If you don’t highlight who you are and what you have to offer almost instantaneously, they’ll simply walk away and head for one of your rivals. Suffice to say therefore there’s plenty of pressure to get things right in the shortest amount of time, which in turn calls for plenty of preparation and an acknowledgement of what it is that makes for a perfect pitch.
So for those considering heading off to a trade show in the near future and hoping to win over as many prospects as possible, here’s a quick rundown of a few essential pointers from those with lifelong expo experience:
1 – Confident and Polished
First and foremost, perhaps the single most important reason of all to practice your pitch ahead of time is to ensure it comes across as perfectly polished and confident. The simple fact of the matter is that the very second any of your prospects gets the impression you do not have 100% confidence in your pitch, they will find it impossible to have 100% confidence in you and your brand. Of course, you need to know your brand and what it is you are trying to get across like the back of your hand in order to present a polished and confident pitch. But at the same time, advance practice is necessary as you’d be surprised how blind your mind can go when confronted by the chaos of a crowded exhibition hall.
2 – Concise and Condensed
Along with presenting a confident pitch, another of the most important rules to follow at all times is that of ensuring that pitch is concise in nature. You basically have to assume that each of the prospects that come your way throughout the day will have no more than a few seconds, perhaps a couple of minutes at the absolute most to spend with you before checking out your rivals. As such, you need to find a way of condensing everything you need to say into the shortest possible pitch, without it becoming complicated or garbled. Needless to say, this can be an extremely difficult challenge when you have a lot to say, which is again why it should be practiced and perfected ahead of time.
3 – Free of Pushiness
One of the biggest challenges of all when it comes to perfecting a trade show pitch is how to be persuasive and informative without crossing the line into pushiness. There will always be a very fine line between persuasive sales and generally being pushy – the problem being that the moment most consumers feel pressure, they are more inclined to walk away. In terms of making it happen, some of the most important rules in the book include talking at a relaxed pace, maintaining a relaxed tone and volume, speaking in a relatively casual manner and ensuring that the prospect in question is given the opportunity to respond, as opposed to simply being lectured.
4 – Free of Patronisation
It’s a very similar story with patronisation too as while you are of course trying to persuade your prospects that they need you and what it is you do, you cannot simply tell them this outright and expect them to buy into your every word. From speaking negatively about your rivals to presenting yourself as overly confident/smug and generally putting yourself on something of higher plain than those approaching you, to stray into patronising is to destroy your chances of winning them over.
6 – Zero Desperation
Last but not least, it’s of critical importance to display to your prospects that you know what they need and how to give it to them, while at all times being careful not to comes across as desperate. The temptation and instinct to practically beg their trust can be overwhelming, but it will never paint you or your brand in a positive light. If anything, you should proactively recommend they check out the competition first, reinforcing their perception just how confident you are in what must be superior products, services and performance in general.