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Banish the prophets of doom from your trade show life

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Posted by , 7th November 2019

Prophets of doom and gloom abound. Here's how to tackle three common doomsayers that try to sabotage exhibition and event plans.

Prophets of doom and gloom abound, but that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them.

Here are three kinds of doomsayers that may try to sabotage your event plans. 

1. People within your sales or stand team 

Having spent many years in sales myself and many of those as a manager of sales teams, I have met many chain-dragging salespeople. 

And when I talk about chain-dragging, I mean, I felt like I was dragging them around. 

They were a drag to the goals and ambitions of the whole team. 

They were the prophets of doom when ambitious plans were shared.

You know the type. 

They are the people in sales meetings who throw out reasons why things won’t work. 

Outside of those meetings, they talk negatively about objectives agreed or about you as a manager. 

Often, they are behind on their targets.

Or, they just about make them, never exerting more effort than required to stay safe in their role.  

It’s a strange phenomenon because if you want to succeed in sales, a negative outlook is a hindrance and it can be terminal for the person concerned. 

Turning negative salespeople around is sometimes possible, but often not if they won’t listen to reason or accept criticism. 

If you have someone like this on your team, don’t bring them to a show to work on your stand unless you absolutely have to. 

When you exhibit, you want and need everyone pulling together and working their socks off.

That’s the way to make the most of the sales opportunity a show presents. 

For some excellent stand management advice from a seasoned sales and marketing professional read this https://exhibitorsonly.biz/just-how-important-is-the-coffee-machine/

2. Your boss 

Bosses don’t always realise the negative effect comments they make can have on the people who work for them. 

In their own way and without knowing, they can start sounding like prophets of doom.

Think Henry II and Thomas à Beckett as an extreme example. 

Boss management is a massive subject, so I’ll stick to trade show participation. 

When a boss expresses doubt about a particular show or events as a valid form of marketing, don’t present generalisations, present facts. 

Bosses look at top-line numbers, especially if they work in large organisations. 

So knowing your numbers inside out and at a granular level is essential if you are seeking to win not just an argument about event marketing, but the admiration of your boss at the same time. 

Bosses don’t like vagueness. 

They can’t afford vagueness because it can come back to bite them if they fall under scrutiny for the performance of their team or division. 

Getting to know your numbers inside and out has a significant benefit for you.

You learn what’s working and what’s not in a variety of different areas. 

From events that perform best based on spend, to products or services that have received the most interest or sales growth as a result of event participation. 

Get your boss off your back with the facts and deep knowledge of where sales and leads are really coming from.

And don’t say things like “we’ve always done this event.”

Or “we have to be there because our competitors have booked.” 

Present justifiable marketing reasons why you need to attend instead.

3. Doubt and the fear of trying new things 

Doubt and the fear of trying new things are two other monkeys you need to get off your back. 

Uncertainty breeds doubt and although nothing is ever one hundred per cent certain in life, thorough research and preparation go a long way towards reassurance. 

The fear of trying new things comes from a fear of being seen to fail. 

Ridicule from co-workers and wrath from a boss can stop us from being positive. 

If this fear is getting in your way, start with small experiments.

Don’t propose massive overnight changes to established plans or tried and tested methods of doing things. 

Take action like that, and you put yourself at great risk.

See making small, incremental changes like science experiments. 

With an experiment, you state how things were before the trial took place and then record changes that occurred afterwards. 

Measure the differences and move forward with stealth where this is required. 

Now if you are looking for some positive support in your trade show life, and some cracking modular stand designs, visit: 

Everyone working within this energetic design and build team are a positive force for the good of their clients. 

They are precisely the sort of team you want working on your behalf.

Very best,

David O’Beirne

More posts on this subject

Trade shows can reawaken sales with dormant clients

Strong stand management: It’s essential if the “soul” of your business is to shine through

Trade show sales: The two things your stand team should be focused on every time you exhibit

Posted in B2B Marketing  /  Event Marketing  /  Trade show advice  /  Trade show marketing

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