Business to Business Online Expos

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Turn ‘Cold Calls’ into ‘Connect Calls’

coldcallI don’t think I ever met a salesman that enjoyed making cold calls. In fact, it’s usually the entry level gig to any major sales position with a company.

I’m a salesman. I’m not gonna lie. Cold calling sucks. However, the name Cold Call doesn’t mean that you have to be cold with the person you’re speaking with. Get off the script and find a way to connect. A first time phone chat has a much better chance of converting into a future deal if the focus is on the company and person you’re calling.

Meaning, don’t call to promote your product, call them to fill a need [with the help of your product]!

Lew Hoff, President of Bartizan Mobile Apps wrote a recent piece about this on TSNN. Hoff recommends using their profiles on social media as a tool. “If you use Linkedin and Twitter your cold calls don’t have to feel like cold calls because you know something about them and can possibly relate on a human level. The prospect could be a neighbor, went to the same school, have the same hobby. Be open with the people when you call about having looked at their LinkedIn profiles. It helps break the ice. Plus it shows you’ve gone to more trouble than 90% of the other salespeople who call them every day.”

Great points, read the full story here.

Lew says Cold Calls like this are considered Connect Calls. And that makes perfect sense because you are making a connection early which dramatically improves your chances of closing the deal.

Go get ’em Tiger!


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Booth #1436: Isn’t a hanging sign supposed to be hanging?

tradeshowboothMel White is the VP of Marketing and Business Development at Classic Exhibits Inc., a designer and manufacturer of portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibits. He also writes a blog over at TSNN and I really enjoyed his recent post, “What You Don’t See at a Trade Show”.  In it, he makes funny references about things we all take for granted when exhibiting.  The kinds of lazy behavior that we always vow never to have, but by Day 3, things naturally start getting sloppy.

Here are just a few White’s funny examples:

Booth #853. Four 42″ monitors. I understand the effect can be very impressive . . . when on.

Booth #103. Say again. What? Sorry, I can’t hear you over the music and the Shamwow dude pitching your products.

Booth #614. I’ve seen more padding in a Victoria’s Secret catalog.

Booth #2007. So it leans a little to the left? And a lot to the right? What’s the big deal?

Booth #777. Can you make the magician disappear? I’d like to learn more about your company.

Anyone who has ever exhibited before can totally relate to this piece.

Read the rest of Mel’s article here.

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Best Sales Tip I Heard All Week

businessA salesman (or saleswoman) has a tough gig.  Especially an honest sales representative.  Seriously, if you haven’t ever stepped into that role in a job, you probably don’t understand the frustration that comes along with it.

They say, depending on the product, a good example of a successful salesman is one that closes 8-10% of their prospective customers (leads). 10 out of 100.  1 out of 10.

Think about that.  A good sales person faces rejection more often than not.  Out of ten people, nine tell them to take a hike.  Heck, all ten may have denied them, but a good sales person can take that no and turn it into a yes.  The expression goes, you’re not a salesperson until they say “no”.  If everyone says “yes”, you’re just an order taker.

I was reading Matthew Pavli’s blog over at Trade Show News Network and mixed within a good number of solid sales tips, one of his pointers really stuck out at me….

“Call to Solve Their Problems, Not Sell Your Product”

How easily we forget that the reason our product is on the market is to fulfill a need.  If you don’t buy into your product and believe it’s the answer to a serious hole in the market, you’re never going to meet the sales goals your company sets.  The customer will feel you and it won’t feel good to them.  You’re just a guy with a thing trying to bamboozle next month’s rent.

People have said a good salesperson can sell anything.  And that’s true.  I like to think that I’m a decent sales person and yes, I could probably sell just about anything.  But to have All-Star kind of success, I have to believe in my product. When I do, it flows out of my pores and the customer buys my passion and conviction.

Know your product then know your prospect. When you discover their need specifically, it will give you a much stronger reason to call on them because you have the answer to their problem.


Read Pavli’s entire piece HERE.

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How do I get Attendees engaged?

Office Workers Clapping at Office PartyYou spent the money and put together a really nice display.  Your staff has smart looking, trendy outfits and your latest product is the best in the biz.

So why is everyone walking right past your booth?

Lorraine Arams of Wize Time Management  gives some tips to the Entreprenette Gazette that will help direct Attendees right into your display area:

* Stand in front of the table, engage people – smile, exude lots of energy
* Give something away – eg a pen with your company’s name & website
* People love videos – great when you are away from your booth
* Create a game or a demonstration about something even if it has nothing to do with your company – eg a ball maze – people love to watch the balls go through the maze. It creates “buzz”.
* Create fun and energy around your booth – a mascot, a clown, give away great fake tattoos,etc

Social Media and brand marketing guru, Shane Shirley told The Trade Show News Network, “Integrating technology into your tradeshow experience will get people engaged and excited about what you’re offering and when you can introduce technology while also going green you can help the planet and stay true to your environmental initiatives.”

Shirley elaborated on that subject and later suggested polling, go green apps and digital press kits as a way of getting people more engaged.

Look for my interview with Shane later this week on our iTunes podcast, Trade Show On-Air.