How to Employ Strategic Selling at Trade Shows.

How to Employ Strategic Selling at Trade Shows.

Strategic Selling is a term coined by Steve Heiman and Robert Miller. The Strategic Selling method aims to empower salespeople with a formula for sales that equips them to quickly, yet methodically process each lead, address their needs and sell as a team, essentially simplifying the sales process from start to close. Strategic Selling requires a unified language around sales and employs a widely trained process.

The ideal result of Strategic Selling is that every salesperson can more easily and confidently identify priority prospects, understand any and all data about that prospect, and utilize a unified approach to closing the deal.

For salespeople working the trade show booth, Strategic Selling will provide a more formulaic, concise, and unified approach to identifying leads, qualifying them by priority, engaging with them, and closing deals post-show. In this article, we will explore how Strategic Selling can methodize your approach before the show, in the booth, and especially during post-show follow up:

Collect and Connect the Data

A strategy is only as great as the data that powers it. The data you collect on a lead informs your sales team on how to prioritize an actively engaged lead and what part of the sales strategy to begin with in order to best address this lead’s needs appropriately.

For trade show sales, ideally your team comes equipped with initial data points on key leads that your company plans on engaging with at the event. For new leads, it’s imperative to collect this information from the start of the conversation to ensure your team member knows how to direct the conversation.

Get Clear About Your USP

Your USP - or unique selling proposition - is what your company offers to the world and what’s special about it. While your salespeople likely know the features and benefits of your products or services inside and out, the USP is about how those features come together with your company identity to generate the complete experience.

Approach in the 2nd Person

According to this article from Chron, “the relationship is developed when the seller is more attuned to meeting the needs of the customer than making the sale.” Understanding the customer’s needs is a critical aspect of Strategic Selling. Questioning techniques are more important than presenting or talking. Without this understanding, you cannot possibly speak to what this person wants to accomplish, fix or avoid. In a world that’s becoming increasingly commercialized, creating this empathic connection can make all the difference.

Consider the Buyer’s Journey

No two leads are the same. Working through each interaction methodically and confidently with Strategic Selling requires a great understanding of the various steps of the buyer’s journey. Whether it’s a warm lead you’ve been targeting for months or a fresh new face, having the buyer’s journey in mind will ensure that your questioning and overall communication is heavily focused on addressing each lead’s concerns as you work each customer through your Strategic Selling funnel.

Strategize Beyond the Show

These trade shows are densely populated touch points with numerous worthwhile leads. You wouldn’t collect a web visitor’s data and not send a follow up email, so why would you invest in a major trade show and not be prepared with a substantial follow up strategy?

Whether you’re reaching out to surprise leads that fell through the cracks, or it was your intention from the onset to reach out to a certain category of leads after the show, make the most of your event marketing with this vital Strategic Selling step. This could be something as simple as a follow-up email or call, or it could be a golf outing, dinner or night of drinks at your favorite lounge.

Gather Proof

Why should I choose you? There’s always going to be somebody cheaper, more experienced and/or with a similar USP than you. Your specific samples, deliverables and portfolio pieces should illustrate what is special and unique about your product/service. If you’ve properly represented your brand’s abilities and the lead wasn’t impressed, you’ll probably want to consider moving on to more high-priority leads.

If the proof is in the pudding, bring a big enough bowl for all of the event’s attendees and start passing out the spoons. It’s also important to bring different flavors (yes, even sugar-free!). You never know what a potential lead is going to want to see from you. Don’t come up empty handed when you had all of the right ingredients to seal the deal.

Get on the Same Page with Your Team

As Jim Pancero phrases it, in his reading of Strategic Selling, “With all the different players from your company communicating, and hopefully, persuading your customers, it is critical you have a single, simple, and focused uniqueness message that is discussed and confirmed by all members of your team.”

This ensures that every lead is receiving the highest performing sales experience possible and that your message is heard loud and clear.

At trade shows, every interaction matters and attention spans are short. Don’t give leads mixed messages. Unify your team’s strategy and overall performance with Strategic Selling.

Another way to ensure your team is unified while traveling for events is by utilizing WorkTrip. WorkTrip is not only an event planner’s dream, but a CEO’s dream as well once they’ve seen the difference it can make in keeping teams connected and informed while managing the logistical struggles of nationwide and even global work travel. Give our team a call today to find out more or read our guide "a Trade Show Team's Guide to Lead Management."

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