Icebreakers at trade shows
Starting an engaging conversation can be both extremely difficult and a basic step to create new business leads. You want to stand out –for the right reasons– amongst thousands of other people. Here are some tips to make sure you break the ice and start warming up those leads in your next trade show:
- Smile and look straight into their eyes:
Having an open attitude as well as a welcoming gaze will make it easier for people to approach you. People are more likely to respond to a smiling confident person than to someone who conveys insecurity. Use that in your advance and be remembered by your grace and openness. Even if the business opportunity does not evolve you will still be remembered, and that is one key objective in a place where you’ll meet hundreds of people.
- Questions, questions, open questions!
When approaching someone new at a trade show what you ask is even more important than the mere fact of posing the question. By using open questions you increase the time it takes for someone to offer a response, and therefore you spend a bit more time together. You will have a few more seconds in your favour to move towards a different conversation and offer something that could be interesting for whomever is engaging with you.
Instead of going for a simple yes or no question, try open questions asking why, what or how? This will help you connect with your audience and get useful insights from your potential customers about your product and services.
- Take full advantage of Name Tags:
One useful thing about trade shows and fairs is the fact that everyone has their name and company visible on their name tag. You can easily ask about their current role in the company as well as their personal background in the specific field of work.
Empathy is key, ask about them and their business before explaining your products or services. This will also give you the opportunity to tailor the conversation instead of following a memorized pitch and will make you look more natural and approachable.
- Amaze them to capture their attention (even before posing questions):
Gimmicks and contests can be helpful to attract the attention of attendees and let you position yourself as someone interesting without even having to proactively approach people passing by. These can help start conversations as the icebreaker has been that physical element, gimmick or even a contest winner announcement. At this point you will only have to worry about answering questions that are coming your way.
In this case you’ll need to work around the gimmick itself and provide information that can be relevant and beneficial for your leads.
Encountering a large number of people can be overwhelming, but if your sales team is well prepared and ready to make new connections, a trade show is just the place to be!