great stand sales mistakes – is your exhibition team guilty?

Sales mistakes made on stand: Are you guilty?

Published on 13/11/2017

Do you want to lose potential clients, miss out on opportunities for leads, or be generally thought of as a company that’s bad to do business with?

Thought not!  Although we have to admit, judging by some of the sales mistakes our team have witnessed at exhibitions over the years, you could be forgiven for thinking those were the direct objectives for some exhibitors. 

We all know how great an opportunity exhibiting your brand at a trade event can be.  After all, how many chances would you usually get to promote your company to such a large audience of industry insiders, experts and prospects, all under one roof? 

To help you make the most of this amazing opportunity, we’ve decided to tell all about some of the worst mistakes we’ve seen salespeople make at exhibitions, so you’ll know exactly what to avoid.

(Brace yourself – some of these are pretty shocking!)

Casting judgement

People judge people.  It’s instinct.  But when you’re exhibiting your business and meeting countless new people, it’s important to treat everybody with the same level of friendliness and respect.

This means not staring at name badges as people walk past, trying to work out who you should be spending your precious time chatting to.  Not only is this rude (people will always know you’re doing it, however subtle you try to be), but job titles are often deceptive – or perhaps even completely made up in some cases! – so you could be missing out on key business.

Not being welcoming

We’re not saying you need to grin inanely at everybody who walks past your stand.  But do smile, and do try to engage people who look interested in what you do, so they don’t go and talk to your competitors instead.  It’s that simple.

Texting, reading or eating on the stand 

We know: who actually does this?  Unfortunately, quite a few people we’ve seen!

It should go without saying that anything that takes attention away from the people around you is a genuine waste of valuable exhibition time (would you want to approach someone staring down at their phone, or engrossed in the latest Dan Brown?)

If you need a break, take one – just take it well away from your stand.

Drinking too much the night before

If you’re staying away for an exhibition, the temptation to have a few drinks in the hotel on the night before can be overwhelmingly strong.  

Resist!  You’ll look, feel and smell terrible – and unless your ideal client is Rab C. Nesbitt, that combination isn’t something you’ll want your brand to be remembered for. 

Breaking down the stand too early

It can be so tempting, can’t it?  The crowd is starting to thin out anyway, you’ll have an easy drive home if you miss the worst of the traffic, and after all it’s been a long week…

Don’t do it.  You never know when your best prospects might turn up, and in our experience there’s a certain kind of arrogance that goes with leaving your stand space empty, while people may still be interested in talking to you – and have often paid for the opportunity to do so. 

(Here at Guardian Exhibition & Display, our friendly team are more than happy to pack up and break down your stand for you, meaning you may just be able to catch that early train after all!) 

A great rule of thumb is to think of your stand as a formal client meeting space.  All the same rules apply – if you wouldn’t chew gum, turn up hungover, leave early or stare down at your phone in a formal meeting, don’t do it on your stand!

So by now we’re sure you know all the wrong ways to work that stand, but do you know the right ones?  Our team are only too happy to discuss all things exhibition-related, and we won’t even ask for your job title!  Get in touch with us here.

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