June 22nd, 2015
Trade Shows Can Work-new idea!
NOTE: Several weeks ago I wrote a blog on “Why Trade Shows Don’t Work”, shortly after a good friend, Todd Schnick, wrote me a note to discuss how he makes trade shows work! I asked Todd to write a blog regarding how he works with organizations in a very unique manner using podcasts. The blog below is Todd’s. I hope you enjoy! Ken
I see the same thing at every trade show: hundreds, if not thousands, of company personnel standing around, wearing their logo shirts and nodding politely to passersby, or worse, staring at their phone.
Shame. They are wasting time, space, and money.
I get the fact that you need people to man the exhibit and walk people through a product demo and answer questions. But if your trade show strategy is built on walk-up traffic, you are better off saving your money. Your efforts will fail.
Instead, I leverage a different strategy (and help my clients with it): leveraging one of the hottest media tactics around: podcasting.
If you go to a trade show hoping to connect with 2,000 of your closest prospects, you will also fail. But if you want to leave the show having spent quality time with 50 to 100 key executives and decision-makers, then a podcasting strategy is your answer.
What I call Trade Show Radio is really quite simple:
- Ask your sales team to identify the fifty to one hundred executives you want to visit with at the show.
- Have your sales team invite them several weeks before the show to appear on your “business” radio podcast.
- Next ask your sales team, before the show, to ask the prospect for 5-7 talking points about their business. These will be used to during the interview on the air (This is also collecting market intelligence on your prospect). Don’t forget to set a specific date/time with the prospect for the interview.
- In your booth, set up the radio/podcast area and then conduct the interview (about THEIR company, not YOURS) at the show. Post the interview on a master site.
- Then post-show, prepare the audio file from the podcast and call your prospects and have your salesperson deliver the mp3 file (your welcomed excuse to contact your prospects post-show).
The benefits? You deployed a non-threatening way to set appointments with key prospects. They came to spend time with you, AT YOUR EXHIBIT. Chances are you and your sales team spent quality time with them before and after the interview (this is what you are really after). You created great content (for everyone involved). You generated some wicked cool buzz at your exhibit. And you did something VERY memorable for all of your key prospects.
They’ll forget the beer your competitors poured for them. But they won’t forget their radio interview-ego is a powerful tool in creating relationships.
Win win win for ALL involved.
Execute this strategy once, and you’ll never do your trade shows the same again.
Anyone can execute this idea, but I do it for a living. You can learn more about Trade Show Radio by clicking here!
Todd Schnick is a writer, media and content strategist, and business talk radio host and producer. Through a media company that he co-founded, Todd travels across North America broadcasting LIVE business talk radio from trade shows and association events. He lives with his family in Brookhaven, GA.
Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 17 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.
He was recently ranked for the third year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2015.
Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project.