High traffic events like trade shows, conventions, and home tours can give your business a real boost in brand awareness – if you know how to stand out from the rest of the selling crowd. This idea hit home again recently when I spent the day on a luxury model home tour. Builders pay big money to enter their high-end custom homes in the event. Tour-goers have to PAY to walk through the home. Imagine paying to walk into your favorite store! These are serious commitments on behalf of the buyers and sellers.
What stood out to me was the vast differences in the way the builder’s representatives worked in the homes. By the end of the tour, it was evident the key factor in each experience was the PERSON showing the home as much as, if not more so, than the home itself.
In the first home, the representative aka “salesperson” (I use quotation marks here because there certainly wasn’t any “selling” taking place) was SITTING at the kitchen island with her shoes off and her feet up looking at her phone. This show home was FILLED with people and she made absolutely no attempt to greet anyone, answer questions or even engage in the most minimal way. It was almost as if she was counting the minutes until the tour was over.
In sharp contrast, at the next show home, the OWNER of the company greeted us at the front door. He welcomed us in and gave detailed explanations of some custom features. He learned (and used) our first names and he thanked us several times for visiting the home while on the tour. We were engaged by a well-dressed builder’s representative on each level of the home. Interactions were genuinely friendly and upbeat. They asked questions and provided positive feedback throughout the visit. We were very impressed by the whole experience.
Events are an important part of gaining broad exposure in a short amount of time. Successful sales professionals put in the extra effort to stand out from the sea of salespeople to make strong first impressions and to help prospective customers move forward in the process. To maximize high-volume selling opportunities and stand out from the crowd, utilize the following five strategies.
1. Be Available. Make it easy for your customers to connect with you. Wear a name tag. They need to know who you are and what you represent. Don’t sit down, eat, drink, or look at your phone. Don’t spend time chatting with colleagues instead of focusing on customers. Connect with people.
2. Be Engaging. The way you greet a prospect shows your professionalism and willingness to help. Make eye contact. Shake hands. Exchange names. Dress professionally. Avoid repeating a prepared sales pitch, which can start to sound robotic.
3. Ask Effective Questions. Engage prospective customers by asking open-ended questions, which require more than a yes/no answer. Avoid innocuous greetings like “Can I help you?” Instead, ask “How can I help you get the most out of your visit today?” This will help you determine their needs and interests. Focus your responses on how your product or service can meet these needs.
4. Take Notes. During a large scale sales event, you’re going to meet a lot of people. To ensure you retain important information, write down information on your prospects including name, contact info, and needs.Having a record of this information will help you during your post-event follow-up.
5. Focus on Selling. Events provide an opportunity to reach people who may not be as accessible day to day. This can be the start of a strong business relationship. You are not a tour guide. You are a salesperson. Stay focused on your objective: making sales.
Remember, customers have to buy you first before they consider your product or service. It is very important to maintain a professional image during any selling opportunity, particularly those with high traffic. Customers are shopping for solutions to their problems and you can help. By learning to work in large scale sales events you will be able to enhance your connections which will lead to increased sales. Never be afraid to stand out from the crowd.