What is a Sales Managers Role before and during a Trade Show?


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A Sales Managers Role: Tradeshows

Is it just me, or do we all hate trade shows? Long days, a lot of standing, a lot of smiling, trying to be cute to get people in your booth, giving away handouts, ugh….

When I first became a sales manager, I attended these with the same vision of trade shows I had as a rep. I tried to pump up the reps, knowing how tough the job was. I focused on the show in advance so my sales team could put some focus on inviting as many clients and prospects to the show as possible.

The next time I attended as a sales manager, I focused on “Coaching” the sales reps on their “Conference Selling” skills along with helping where I can.

Then with the help of some very smart salespeople, as well as some peers and an outside network, I realized how much I could be doing to make the time at the trade show more effective for my team, and our business.

We started a campaign to target prospects and clients more specifically then just inviting them to the trade show.

First, we identified prospects and clients who wanted to gain specific knowledge of a solution. We would make sure we had the proper resources planned to be in attendance and send the prospects an invitation citing the specific resource under my name.

Second, under my name we would invite other functional leaders from our clients to come and see how we…….. (Whatever the show was about.)

Third, we used this as a way to spend time with the customers of our channels. We would provide an invitation letter for our channels to send to their clients with my name and the channel rep’s name.

Finally, I would ask for a list of any prospect/client I should call from my team. I would personally make the calls to these executives inviting them to join us for a personal tour and discussion of the solutions and their applicability.

I’m sure there are even more things that a Sales Manager can do to improve the effectiveness and the time investment in Trade Shows.

Got any ideas?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

James Hughes
A 30 year veteran of running sales teams from 7 to 110 people. Have led efforts of training sales reps on skills, Account Planning, certified "Power Base Sales " trainer and led the Worldwide Sales Management Education program for a Fortune 50. Today, I use my experience and learning's to help sales managers become better coaches of their sales people and increase the yield of their team.


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