Breaking the Booth Barriers
By jack.flynn on Jun 18, 2008
The Five Bs That Block Out Business
There'll be plenty of eager attendees on the show floor at Oracle OpenWorld this year, braving the crowds and cutting through clutter to find you and your products. Have you got the goods to lure them in and make a connection? Or are you giving off a vibe that says, 'Stay away!' Try boosting your booth appeal by breaking down these common psychological barriers:
1. Body Language
Does your staff sit around instead of standing? Are their arms folded? Do they cluster in circles and close ranks? Do they hide behind counters? Or linger in the aisles? All that posturing just signals they're not eager to engage in a dialogue with a real, live, intelligent human being.
Your company's Numero Uno? That's great. But on the show floor, nothing stifles a conversation like chest-pounding or bad-mouthing. So, stick to benefits. If your product has won awards, by all means display them. Just make sure your sales pitch stays focused on solutions that meet the prospect's unique set of concerns. That's how to be Top Dog in the eyes of customers.
3. Booth Bunnies
Whose bright idea was it to hire the third runner-up Ms. Tallahassee to pass out flyers this year? Lemme guess, it was a MAN. In a modern-day tradeshow environment, staffing your booth with a rent-a-babe doesn't say, 'Check us out, we're cool!' It says, 'Please check us out, we're desperate!'
Put down the megaphone. Take off the headset. When you subject attendees to theatrical sideshows in place of face-to-face demos, you come off as selling snake oil instead of solutions. People want to be listened to, not shouted at. They need straight talk from real experts, not scripted actors. A big sound system only dramatizes the distance between you and your audience.
5. Bad Breath
If potential customers can actually get close enough to ask a question, the last thing you want to do is sour their enthusiasm with a shocking whiff of garlic fries and beer. If you carry mints in your pocket, use them liberally. If you don't carry mints, get some. If you got some, share 'em with others. Freshen up and fly right, for Pete's sake.
Seems un-'B'-lievable to you, this list of bad behaviors? Don't kid yourself. Plenty of companies make these mistakes, and go away empty-handed. The ones that don't will bag the big game and head home from Oracle OpenWorld with a satchel of great new leads... Happy Hunting!
[One last thing: 'B' smart and register now for the OpenWorld early-bird discount]