In Part 1 of this concept we discussed “attitude”. Why sales people have it when it comes to working in the booth and ways you can make booth duty a better opportunity for them even if not completely perfect.
Here in Part 2 we’ll talk about the second reason I think sales people hate working in the booth…but this one doesn’t just apply to sales people…it could be anyone assigned to staff your booth. That reason is the skill set required to work a booth is not something that everyone has nor is it something they can learn. If someone doesn’t have the personality for it, or they are not comfortable with the situation…no amount of training in the world is going to help.
I’ve trained many a booth staff on how to work the booth and it is a special skill. It’s a skill that a lot of really good sales people don’t have. Sales in the B2B world is all about building and maintaining relationships. It’s about adding value to your clients and solving problems they may not have even known existed. Or problems they didn’t know could be solved. It’s a process that takes time. Relationships are not built in a day.
That is why a good sales person feels awkward standing along the aisle and trying to catch someone’s attention and lure them into the booth. To them it feels creepy. It’s even terrifying and they’d rather be doing anything else but that. It’s not that they don’t want to work in the booth…they just don’t want to work the aisles doing the crowd gathering.
How can you help?
First, no sales person is likely to admit they are afraid or uncomfortable doing that type of work. We all want to believe we have no fear of cold-calling and that’s what aisle work is very much like. Unless you know a particular sales person is good at working the aisles or they come right out and ask to do it…assign them to a role within the booth. Let them talk to visitors once they’ve already been enticed into the booth or have been qualified. Here your sales person will shine.
Tap into inside sales people to do the crowd gathering. They are very likely not at all intimidated with cold-calling because that might be what they do all day. They also might love the opportunity to get out of the office and meet the people they’ve been talking to. Find those really bubbly people in the office who are incredibly upbeat and love people. And not just any people but complete strangers. They’ll love working the aisles.
If you don’t have any of these people you can bring I strongly urge you to hire professional crowd gatherers. These people are experts and do it with a smile and enthusiasm all day long. They are never pretending to be busy doing something else or pretending not to notice the person walking by the booth. And they don’t care if the show is slow. If even one person is walking past he’s theirs! It doesn’t even matter if it’s 10 minutes before the show closes. Your professional crowd gatherer will hook her and reel her in.
Remember, you can’t bring in a booth staff training for a couple hours and expect them to change people’s personalities. All they can do is show people who want to engage strangers the best way to do it.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this…please comment below.