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Thursday, July 22, 2010

THE SLOGANATOR: Trading Time and Money Networking in Trade Shows and Business Expos

Rhonda L.Sher

One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs and small business owners is how to present themselves in business expos and trade shows. In this article, I will share with you some of the strategies and tips that have worked for me and many of my clients over the past ten years.

The secret is to separate the suspects from the prospects and have a rock solid plan for attracting your ideal client or customer. You also need a consistent follow-up program. Typically 90% of the people who spend the time and money to exhibit at a trade show or business expo do little or no follow-up, which can result in leaving thousands of dollars on the table. So how do you become part of the 10% that captures 90% of the business? Start by doing the following:

  1. Identify who your ideal customer or client is. Be specific. Remember Rhonda’s Rule: the smaller the niche, the more you get rich.

  2. Make your booth inviting to your ideal customer or client. Put yourself in the position of that customer or client and ask yourself, what would attract you to that booth? What would the sign say? What would you be giving away? How would the people staffing the booth be dressed? What will they say?

  3. Have a survey for visitors to fill out which asks the questions that separate the suspects from the prospects. Be sure to give away something of value in exchange for having the survey completed. Something that has your name and logo on it, that won’t be tossed away but will remind your prospect what you offer and how you can benefit them.

  4. Send invitations before your event to those prospects that you want to meet and give them an incentive to come to your booth. This can be a postcard that can be redeemed for something or some other type of gift. Remember, your goal is to drive traffic to your booth.

  5. Don’t be afraid to be different. I used to put million dollar bills on the floor leading to my booth and create a huge crowd since they looked so real … Be unique!

  6. Your goal is not to give out tons of information but to get information so you can master the “f” word, follow-up. Have a follow-up plan in place to immediately thank your visitors for coming to your booth and put your follow-up on auto pilot.

  7. Make your booth attractive visually. Candy is always a great draw to have at your booth.

  8. Don’t forget that one of the biggest sources of new business is from the other vendors. Show up early, get to know the other vendors and do some cross marketing. If you find someone who has a complimentary product or service, drive people to one another’s booths and agree to share information.

  9. Use a system like to follow-up with your good prospects and don’t forget to call them as well. Remember that 80% of business is done after the 5th contact according to When you follow-up, give information, ask questions and don’t be pushy or try to get the sale. You need to earn it.

  10. If space will allow, erect a stand-alone presentation board. On the board, you can show how clients can benefit by using your services. Be creative and make it stand out. Include pictures, if possible, and be sure your company name and logo are more than obvious..

  11. Arrange your table in levels. Put the larger items at the rear, shorter items in front of those, and even shorter items in front of those.

  12. Have a portfolio of your work available. Print off some of your best projects, put them into plastic sheet protectors, and arrange them in a binder. Then lay out the binder where visitors can flip through the pages.

  13. When possible offer Gift Certificates for some of your services. There’s nothing better than getting a deal and, when they ‘cash in’ their certificate, they will see how valuable your services are and will come back for more.

  14. Have a drawing for a prize in addition to what you give for filling out a survey.. Offer a prize that, in some way, compliments your business if possible, and appeals to anyone.

  15. If the show will be on for an extended length of time, be sure to have enough people to staff your booth so you can take a break. If you don’t have the option of having someone take over for a bit, be sure to put up a note that tells people how long you will be gone or when you will be back.

Most importantly, be friendly and inviting. Say hi to those that turn and look toward you or your booth. Strike up a conversation and be sure to have a short introductory elevator pitch that tells people what you do. Have fun and remember the abc’s….Attract, Be friendly and Connect with everyone who stops by. Then you will always be two minutes and two people from your next great referral.

Rhonda L Sher: The Sloganator Rhonda L Sher was born talking. She fell in love with words as a child and has never stopped communicating since. Her father once commented that she was vaccinated with a phonograph needle. Not only has Rhonda inherited her father's humor, but it's that quick wit that has become the signature that has helped propel her clients to stardom.Acclaimed Keynote and workshop leader, Rhonda has authored two books, "The 2 Minute Networker" and "The ABC's of LinkedIn," "Get LinkedIn or Get Left Out" as well as numerous action guides, articles, workbooks, jingles and corporate slogans.

In addition to writing, Rhonda uses her gift of gab as a featured keynote speaker, consultant and corporate trainer throughout North America. She has successfully taught hundreds of business men and women on the art of business networking and written hundreds of elevator pitches and slogans.Rhonda's greatest talent lies in her ability to create fabulously catchy slogans that are memorable, upbeat, easy to repeat and create instant brand identification. In addition to the books, audio and video, Rhonda creates slogans and taglines for her clients which are memorable, bring them business and make them, money. She works with you to create a corporate slogan for your business that sets you apart from your competition. Her creativity and energy will tap into your customer's mind and have your phone ringing off the hook with new business.

Rhonda's Products can be previewed at:

The Two Minute NetworkerMingle To Make Money

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1 comment:

TC Leary said...

Great tips Rhonda. I especially like the reminder to follow up. That is so true I see so many vendors leaving money on the table by neglecting this important tip.
The candy is a simple idea and it can work wonders. I have found, individually wrapped Chocolates, weather permitting, are a favorite and the runner up is the wrapped hard candies with the strawberry soft centers.

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