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How to Qualify More Leads at a Cannabis Trade Show

The money that I’m seeing people spend to go to exhibit at and attend the overwhelming number of trade shows in the cannabis industry is amazing. I’ve been asked to speak at many of the larger ones, and I’ve witnessed quite a bit, including physical shut down mode by even my own clients while working a booth. I’ve seen exhibitors sitting in the booth, completely ignoring people while on their computers. Is that person approachable? No. No one will ever come up and talk to them. Ever. You have to be present at your booth. As they say, you could be three feet from seven figures. But how do you close that gap? How do you engage with them?

Those damn six-foot tables. A huge mistake is using them as a desk. By standing behind those, you are creating a physical barrier between you and a prospect. Ditch the table. Create an open area. No front desk needed here. No receptionist present.

“Booth huddle” is another wild phenomenon. It’s when you walk up to a booth and see three people all in the same colored shirts not doing their job. They are just in a small tight circle, chatting away. Again, not approachable. Tick off the dollars of wasted money. It’s passive rejection ROI. Horrible. Get out in front and face rejection, because there will be rejection at a trade show, just don’t take it personal.

Trade shows do have a continued value. Often players go based on the fear of not losing out and to keep up with competitors. With that said, it’s still crazy expensive, so make it worth it because it can more than pay for itself.

Train the people you place to work the booth. So often people see work at a trade show as a punishment. Everyone thinks that sales people are the best people to work a booth at a trade show. I couldn’t disagree more. It’s not their jobs to get leads it’s their job to follow-up on leads. In most cases, the point of a trade show is to generate leads. A sales person will definitely see this as a punishment if they are working in a booth. Their other customers are at the show. They want to wine and dine them and try to sell them more or they want to work on existing leads they have so I highly recommend not putting your sales people in the booth. I know this goes against your gut, but it’s real. Find people who are outgoing and eager to work the booth and can perform best in the booth. That may not be your VP level people. Keep this in mind: the people you hire to work the booth will always work harder than your employees because they are incentivized. Your own employees don’t have that incentive…. Enter “booth huddle”.

Sometimes there are certain people who possess certain knowledge that HAVE to be in the booth but may not be good gatherers or whatnot. Fine, you train them as best you can but you want the people who can gather people, engage them and qualify them.

Finally, build an incentive program. You are in a 2 or 3 day seminar and that’s a long time on a trade show floor. You need something that juices you to keep working. That booth is a small fortune.

When you are working a booth it’s not about you it’s about the attendees, so show as much interest in the potential customer as possible. A great first question is “So, what is the coolest thing you have seen on the floor today?”. It’s not a sales question and you learn a lot with the answer of that question like what they are interested in, what is capturing attendee attention, etc.

Your booth is like a stage. It reflects upon you positively or negatively. The fact that we are in the cannabis industry is no different. If your booth is a mess, if you have your back to the crowd, if you are eating, staring at your phone, working on your computer, etc., it’s all bad. People are not looking at your booth design, they are looking at what you are doing in your booth. People attract, not objects. Can a sassy booth hurt? Of course not, but people are priority. Stop ignoring the audience.

Booth babes? Nay, unless you work in the porn industry. We don’t.

At the end of a trade show, you should be completely exhausted, and not from 3 days at the office. Engage the person, move to qualification and then if they are disqualified, you still have to make that experience positive. A great idea is to leave a prop of a video camera running and then watch it. You will soon see what BS you need to cut through.

So, pick the right cannabis shows, put the right people working it and make sure they master engagement to get the maximum benefits!

 

Celeste Miranda

Celeste Miranda

Dedicated to what she does and successful in her savvy business-minded ventures, Celeste Miranda is an entrepreneur, author, founder and CEO of Miranda Marketing Labs and The Cannabis Marketing Lab. Undertaking the critical challenges of marketing an emerging industry, Miranda opened a specialized division focused on providing businesses with innovative and affordable marketing strategies. Since then, The Cannabis Marketing Lab has become a highly regarded organization in Cannabis related ventures. Comprised of a 16 person team, Celeste’s staff has years of experience and expertise in a myriad of areas such as Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Graphic & Web Design, Creative Content Production, Advertising, PR and much more. Celeste can be reached at [email protected]

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Great article Celeste! Personal connections are the lifeblood of any business. Thanks for the great tips on how to better create those important connections.

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