How to land BIG clients at Trade Shows, with Ruth van Vierzen

Apr 15, 2020

This is an automated transcript courtesy of Otter so please excuse any inaccuracies:

Rob Tyson: Welcome back listener. I am here today with Ruth van Vierzen who is the creator of Blockbuster Trade Shows which helps qualifying clients who make big ticket B2B sales from trade shows add an extra hundred thousand to a million dollars from their next trade show.

And I'm really interested in talking to Ruth today because while you're going to get some tips you can use in any trade show situation, she's going to explain how you need to approach things very differently if you're hoping to land big clients. So those nice juicy clients with deal sizes of perhaps $50,000 and up because your approach to when those kinds of clients from a trade show needs to be very different to the kind of approach you might use at say, a consumer show or if you're making low value sales.

In fact, one of the things Ruth is going to explain is how tactics that might be appropriate for low value sales can actually backfire and cost you large deals that should be yours.

But before we welcome Ruth, and get into all that, if you're listening to this show, it could be you have professional expertise that you want to monetize. And you may be wondering how you can do that with an online business or an online program within your business that breaks the time for money link. So if you're ready to turn your visibility into a scalable business that actually will work for you and your clients, then I have a free web class, I'd like to invite you to it's going to explain why something you might have heard a lot about the ascension model or the value ladder is actually a really bad approach for most people in your position. It doesn't tend to get them what they're looking for. And instead, I'm going to suggest to you what you can do right now to actually get on the right track with monetizing your expertise with an online program, you can actually charge decent money for so that's free. All you need to do to get that is pop along to my website and go to https://www.robtyson.net/class for all the details.

With that said, we are going to welcome Ruth. Ruth, welcome, just tell us a bit about your story, how did you get into this area in the first place, this area of business?

Ruth van Vierzen: Well, I've been doing business development now for oh my gosh, over 20 years and through, you know, working for different companies and then having my own businesses. You know, I found myself time and again, being involved in trade shows. So either working out them on behalf of a company, you know, and obviously doing them myself.

But what I was seeing time and again when I was working with companies is is just how to be honest how poorly executed trade shows were being done. I'm very passionate about trade shows as a marketing vehicle for companies, I think they are one of the best ways and an enduring best way for companies to meet new prospects to have these really valuable face to face conversations. But again, time and again, I just find that they're not being executed as well as they could be.

So I think companies are missing opportunities. But they're investing quite a bit of money to to go to these trade shows, and not seeing the ROI that they could be again, just because they're not being executed properly. Unknown Speaker And just expand on that for so when you say they're not executing properly.

Rob Tyson: What are they doing wrong? What are the big mistakes you see people making?

Ruth van Vierzen: I think a lot of it comes down to lack of preparation and lack of assignment of resources to the trade show strategy as part of their overall marketing and sales strategy. So, you know, I think trade shows are often kind of neglected. Companies, they do them as part of their marketing strategy. They do them year in and year out, but it almost after a while becomes a token gesture.

So there isn't kind of one ambassador in the company assigned to oversee them, or it's an ad hoc approach. And as a result, you know, when they've got a trade show coming up, you know, maybe a few days prior week prior they go they pull out their dusty will banners, grab some brochures, and it's the same old, same old.

So I would say it's the lack of preparation and planning ahead of time to say how can we really maximize our investment in this in this trade show that we're going to make the most of it.

Rob Tyson: And do you think there's an element that you know, perhaps some people have they may be neglecting these things because they they think we can do so much online these days. And that's a better opportunity.

Ruth van Vierzen: Yeah, perhaps... perhaps. I mean, when you look at the vast number of tradeshow events that happen around the world, it's growing, and the attendance that they get, they're sold out with exhibitors. They have excellent visitor numbers coming through the door. I think companies they do see that it's still a really good opportunity.

But they're also competing in terms of their marketing budget with Yes, their online marketing efforts were. They also likely say 'well I can track my online marketing efforts much more easily in terms of the data,' right? The data is just more readily available, or so they think. The same can be applied to trade shows.

But because they don't have a system in place, they're not. They're not gathering and tracking the data.

Rob Tyson: So actually, they can track it. But they're just kind of ignorant of how to do that. Is that what's going on?

Ruth van Vierzen: Yeah, I would say that, that, yeah, they're just not putting the tracking mechanisms in place. And that's where I really am a proponent of approaching, if you're a company, if you're a b2b company going to trade shows as part of your marketing strategy, then really, you need to be having a systematic approach that you can kind of rinse and repeat.

But it has to be a systematic approach that really again, maximizes that ROI. And so obviously, a key part of that is you have to track the data from the show.

Rob Tyson: Yeah, and I guess that with the kind of clients you, you help, particularly when they're making these very high value sales, the opportunity to get face to face with potential buyers is really crucial because people are unlikely to spend 100 grand off of an email, right? I mean, usually it takes a bit more contact than that. And so the opportunity to meet a lot of buyers at a tradeshow can be really powerful, but only only if you're capitalizing on it in the right way.

Ruth van Vierzen: Exactly. And you know, I, because I do so in my consulting work with companies I do as for sales management, and you know, I talked to a lot of b2b companies and one of the biggest, I'd say frustrations or challenges they face is that they want to shorten up the sales cycle.

So you know, when you're doing the prospecting and follow up, it's all necessary. Part of the sales process, but you can really extend that sales cycle. trade shows give companies, especially companies selling high ticket items, it gives them an incredible opportunity to shorten up that sales cycle because of what you said that face to face opportunity.

If there's your opportunity to develop trust immediately to develop likeability, and you're and you've got all of your stuff there, you're kind of on display. So that's where trade shows really are powerful, again, as long as they're executed, effectively, to represent the company.

Rob Tyson: Yeah, and I guess that some of these shows are multi day events, right? And so actually, they there might be opportunity to talk to a potential client many times over the course of the show and as you say, make that sales cycle even shorter perhaps.

Ruth van Vierzen: Exactly. Yeah, that can be such a great part of the strategy if you're going to be doing and a lot of a lot of the big, you know, the big shows, they are You know, four or five day events. And that's absolutely where you want to be having a system in place to set up appointments. So invite people back. One of the things that I think is really effective is to have like a VIP cocktail party.

So you're at the trade show, and here's a here's a tip for listeners. So if you're at a trade if you're going to be at your trade show, and you know, you can be there for several days, organize a VIP only event. So as you know, you're qualifying these prospects who come into your booth, and you only invite your hot prospects to the VIP cocktail party. So it's an exclusive event, you want to build that exclusivity into it.

And just make sure that you're not conflicting with any because a lot of times trade shows will have networking events and their own things going on at the end of the day. Just make sure you pick a date that doesn't conflict with the trade show. And then do something you know, you can in advance, connect with a local bar, book one of their private rooms and just you know have your own kind of event. Person organized just a little VIP thing where you can do an information session. You can do you know, kind of just some you could have like someone playing live music. There's a lot of things you can do around that. But again, it creates that aura of exclusivity. Yeah. And now again you're face to face in a private setting with your hottest prospects.

Rob Tyson: Yeah I really like that. I really like that. Yeah, really nice.

Ruth van Vierzen: And any chance to party is always really good too. Yeah, yeah.

Rob Tyson: Also to break the ice a little bit. Yeah, absolutely. And, what's the difference would you say between if we want to land big clients, or if we make big ticket sales? What is the difference between those kinds of sales from a trade show against smaller sales or consumer shows?

Ruth van Vierzen: Well, I would say because because there's just so much more on the line with with the bigger shows, you know, when you're doing when you're doing sales, you're starting at 50,000 and up your you need to work harder to build the trust and to demonstrate credibility and experience.

So all of those those trust building factors have to come into play. And that that's where having really good conversations with your booth visitors is so critical. If you're at a b2c show, and let's say you're selling handbags, for example, you know, you're going to do a quick sale from your booth, maybe you get the person into your email list, that's great. Maybe they buy another handbag, you know, in six months to a year, whatever. It's a it's a 4 or 5 hundred dollar purchase. It's important for that business but there's not as much on the line.

As for a company that has also probably invested you know, 10 times more to be at the trade show. And for them there. They may be doing fewer deal closes but each one is is worth so much money. So again, I just said that there's more at stake for these b2b companies going to trade shows. And they absolutely it is absolutely critical for them to build the trust factor into the conversations and into their display.

So if someone's coming, so you know, the their their booth is like the first impression, right people are, you know, people are walking by and I always say it's like this, you know, 10 to 30 foot rule. They're making a decision about your booth from far away. They they're deciding if it's even worth them approaching your booth because no one wants to waste their time to trade show talking to someone where they're not interested. You know, from the customer perspective.

So let's say that you've made a good impression with your booth, you've attracted them to come and talk to you. Now it's up to the salespeople in the booth to do a really good job of engaging with that visitor and building the trust factor representing the company's value. Unique Selling position, and just really, you know, demonstrating why it's worth trusting the company. If that is that makes sense?

Rob Tyson: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. It does. And of course the initial sale is just the beginning. I mean, typically a client is going to stay a number of years, the average client, and so if you're, if you're winning or losing a sale to a big client, it's a big deal, isn't it?

Ruth van Vierzen: Yes, absolutely. And that's the other thing as well, to think about when when you know, so a lot of companies will say to me, Well, we we go to trade shows, because we have to be there, we have to show our face, because our competitors are there. And that's something that you know, a b2c shows you don't hear exhibitors worrying so much about their competition. But But definitely For b2b shows, so they they need to be there not only to gain new clients, but to preserve existing because they know that their customers are going to be at the show as well, right? So yes, I kind of lost my train of thought. But but but but the key thing is yes, the lifetime value. This is what I say to companies as well, when you're figuring out your, your ROI, you have to think about it, obviously, in terms of the lifetime value of a customer, right? So what's the initial sale? But then if that sale is handled, well, how long does a typical customer stay with your company and what's their lifetime value? That needs to be worked into your calculations as well.

Rob Tyson: Okay, great. So imagine a client who is making these big ticket sales called you up and said, Ruth, we're doing trade shows, we know it's not working. We really want to make it work, but we haven't got a clue what we're doing and you obviously do. And they just say to you that what's the right approach? What do you say to them?

Ruth van Vierzen: What I do is actually work with companies through a five stage process. And Blockbuster Trade Shows, you know, if you think about the name blockbuster, I mean, obviously, it's designed to help companies be massively successful at their trade shows. But I also drew upon my background. I'm a writer. And as a hobby, I do screenplay writing, which I really enjoy. I love movies. And I actually took the idea of the movie concept and I broke the trade show process down into five stages, kind of based on screenplays.

So the first stage I call The Cast and that's where a company brings together. Its key stuff talent that are going to Be involved in in executing the trade show effectively. And that goes back to what I said earlier about, you know, quite often trade shows are under resourced. So you know, I work with companies where they're at. So if they don't have a huge staff, we work with what we've got in terms of talent available. But there's certain key roles that I do recommend in order to do an effective tradeshow implementation. So that's getting all of that into play, you know, who's the team that's going to accept accountability for the trade, show execution and be responsible for it, then we move into stage two.

And stage two is what I call the Box Office. That's where we're really focused on the return on investment. So going back to what I said earlier, selecting a calculator tool to track the return on investment. And also, you know, being committed as a team everyone needs to buy into this idea that the ROI is going to be tracked very closely. So any expenses have to go to the person assigned, no typically will be someone in accounting, they're assigned to treat track the ROI. And this is all done as a separate line item in the company's budget so that they can, you know, track data for the show and be able to calculate at the end. What was their return on investment once the sales are inputted.

And then for the third stage, I call it Act One, and I call it the Highlight Reel. And if you think in a movie, The highlight reel is kind of the key. It's the key parts of a movie, right? It's like little snippets. And this is where we get really focused on the marketing side of things. And if you think about the marketing for a company, it is kind of like the highlight reel. You're giving people little bits of marketing that give them a taste of what the company is all about. But but they're really really important nuggets of information to pique their interest. So just like a highlight reel would maybe make you want to watch a movie. That's what the marketing is all about.

Rob Tyson: And so just to elaborate on that a bit, what kind of stuff might go into the Highlight Reel, as you call it, what kinds of things might we be looking for?

Ruth van Vierzen: Yeah, so we're focused on, there's two main components. It is reviewing the display. So whatever the company's current exhibit booth is, that gets scrutinized very carefully. If they don't have anything in place, obviously, we're building from scratch, if they have an existing display, which if they're going to trade shows, they obviously would have something, we basically look at it and do a really careful audit of, you know, how, how does it look, you know, if we take an objective, look at it, is it is it, is it dated? Where can we improve upon it? Is the messaging good? Is it a good traffic magnet? So that's the physical display.

And then we also look at what are what is the company using, whether it's brochures, a video playing in their booth, any kind of lead magnets that they may want to be giving away together? Other names. Another really important thing I want to touch upon. It's a, it's a pet peeve of mine, when companies go to trade shows, is quite so you know, companies who get who are very good at getting traffic into their booth quite often they do it by having games, some kind of interactive activity to get people engaged. And a common thing you hear about trade shows is companies know that they can attract men to their booth if they have some kind of a game like a basketball hoop, or mini putt golf or anything like that. And, you know, it can be really good for making their booth look busy.

But my cautionary note about that is do you have qualified prospects in your booth? Or are they just taking up the time of your sales team? And then you actually, you know, at the end of the day, you may have their name, but how have you qualified them?

Rob Tyson: I got a list of golfers, but that's about it!

Ruth van Vierzen: Exactly. Yeah. In here, maybe you've discovered that there's a lot of really good hole in one golfers visiting the trade show. But what do you know beyond that? So that's, that's not an effective engagement tool, I would say.

So I always encourage companies to think really creatively and come up with having something interactive is really good. Make sure it's on brand that it has some it's engaging people with your brand. And there's always some kind of solution you can you can come up with around that. So that's a big one that I encourage companies to, to think about.

And then stage four, I call it Act Two: The Performance. This is where you're, you know, you're you're at the tree or you're getting ready for the performance. You're actually doing the trade show.

But there's key things that have to be done to prepare for that. So you the focus here is on the sales team, the people who are going to be on the floor at the trade show and a big area that Focus on is helping sales teams engage better with prospects have better conversations to qualify them better.

And this is an area that it's you know, it sounds like an obvious thing that oh just you know anyone doing a tradeshow would know how to do this. Whenever I have a training where I help I help companies have better conversations at trade shows that's all we focus on. And I'm amazed at the how people come up to me after the training and they say that it's that really shifted my thinking. I haven't been engaging people well with conversations. So so it's you know, getting the salespeople ready to build the trust, have those good conversations.

And then the last stage stage five, it's basically the third act. So this is the in a movie Act Three is wrapping everything up. I actually call it That's A Wrap. But even though we're nearing the end of the process, it's in many ways, just the beginning. Because this is where the sales team now takes over and is responsible for following up on all of the leads generated from the trade show.

This is oddly and paradoxically the most neglected part of any trade show, statistically most companies do not follow up on the leads that they generate, which sounds strange given all the time and money invested. But I think you know, what tends to happen is that the staff returned back to the office they get caught up in other things and no one has been assigned the responsibility of lead follow up so you know, kind of begs the question what what was the point of the trade show exercise to meet the leads are the gold there, the gold generated from the from the trade show...

Rob Tyson: I'm sorry, just to come in on that, I guess that's the point. That's the real value in stage one, which is The Cast which is figuring out it's I suppose it's actually made some people accountable for, for what happens so that the leaves don't just slip through the cracks and everyone moves on to some, you know everything else that that they're trying to get on with.

Ruth van Vierzen: Exactly. And as part of that casting process, there's actually a tool that I have that I, you know, companies use as part of blockbuster trade shows. It's actually it lays out who's the team? What are the activities that they are committed to undertaking, and that they are held accountable for. And I think that that's a big challenge with companies as well, that they, they're not necessarily holding people accountable for tasks associated with a trade show.

So that's where the casting is so important at the beginning, people are identified and committed. I'm going to do this. And as a team, we're going to make sure that we have a blockbuster trade show.

And then the other the other final thing that's important in the final stages Having a debriefing meeting as a team and reporting back to upper management, you know, so they have that debriefing meeting what worked? Well, what didn't? How can we improve for the next trade show? And then over time finalizing the ROI calculation, so the sales or you know, depending on their sales cycle, it may take a while for those sales to come in. But certainly, you know, as as they're coming in, it's reporting on the sales tying it into the CRM back to the trade show, so that the accountant can do an accurate ROI calculation.

Rob Tyson: I like it, I like it. And so, just to come back to one one of the points you made there, which was about there being so much value in engaging and qualifying people who come to the booth so what are what are some tips you can give us around that? I mean, are there particular good generic questions to ask or are they always specific to the individual company, always specific to the situation?

Ruth van Vierzen: Yeah, so So when I'm working with a company we'll come up with ones unique to the company and the type of trade shows that they go to but as so there's you know, the initial icebreaker ones right? What I always say to people is don't ask yes or no questions. And because because we tend, you know, depending also on the person's comfort level in the booth, but they're if they're in sales, they should be pretty comfortable engaging with, you know, with you know, people that they haven't met before, but um, but we even seasoned salespeople tend to ask yes or no questions.

So, you know, I even discourage you know, saying how are you today? Just Just you can ask questions like as icebreakers How are you enjoying the show? What, what brought you to the show today? You know, so kind of you what you want to do is get them talking and then what You've kind of gotten through a few agreed upon icebreakers that everyone should be asking the same icebreaker questions. And then what you want to do is move in move the conversation and probe to find out if the person is even a prospect for your products or services.

And that's where we do some customized questions with the company. But all of the whatever questions we come up with, they are all designed for with the same purpose, uncover what the prospects pain points are, and uncover where they are in the buying journey.

So, so you know, we will craft pain point questions for the particular company. And then as the salesperson is talking with that prospect, what they also want to do is qualify them by gauging are they do they have the authority to make a buying decision? Do they have the desire at that time?

Or are they thinking maybe six months a year, two years out? Do can do they have the money for it. So those are kind of the three qualifiers that I look at when I'm qualifying someone and I think most salespeople do. And we create questions to determine those three things. Because the person may 1 of all if they're if they don't have the authority, it's worth asking them well, who you know who in your company would be the person that you would recommend I speak with, right? Or follow up with? If they don't have the money? You know, it's worth finding out well, is this something you're thinking of putting into your budget for next year? So now that now the salesperson can make some notes about what follow up process to do with them?

Rob Tyson: Yeah, I like it. I like it. I always remember I used to, I had a bit of experience we, we used to run a... I'm not sure whether you call it a trade show... it was a consumer show, but we called it an exhibition, but always I remember I did a little bit of research into that. And I remember, one of the things that stuck in my mind, was this thing of having a signal to someone else on your team, you know, if you get stuck with someone, and they just keep talking, talking, and it's really hard to break away, and you having a signal that you could show. So, for example, do something with a pen. And then your colleague comes and says, 'Oh, there's an important call from corporate for you, better go and take it' kind of thing. And, you escape. It sounds trivial, but equally, you want to make the most of your time.

Ruth van Vierzen: Yeah, exactly. I get that question. Because I'll sometimes do webinars, just kind of intro webinars, and they're interactive people and ask questions about their trade shows. And I get that question quite a bit. You know what, what if I get stuck talking to someone and I know that They're not even like they're a cold prospect, they're not like, or, you know, they're just not going to be a client, but they keep them talking. And there's a couple of things I recommend.

One is body language is very powerful. I've been in this situation myself at trade shows, I will start to shift my body just more towards another part of the table. And I might even say to the person, you know, I'm just, I just need to stand here in case, you know, I need to make sure if other people are coming along that I can just give them some information, right? So you're still letting them know you're paying attention, but that you also kind of, I find it's an effective trigger to let them know that, you know, maybe they've taken up enough of your time.

The other thing is, if you have a process in place for what you do with it with prospects, I'll do my best to explain this. But if someone is in your booth taking a lot of your time, they know if they're qualified or not, they might just be wasting your time or they like to chat right? Um, so what you can do is begin to outline your process. So you can say, Well, so what we first do with with people who are into who are interested in our products, is we set up a demo or we set up a meeting. You know, let me just grab my my planner and we'll we'll see when we can fit you in. So that shifts the conversation now you're asking them to make a commitment to something. And I find once you do that, people will usually self disqualify and they'll carry on to another booth. So it's shifting them into taking action to the next step in the sales process.

Rob Tyson: Yeah, that's really good. I like that. I like that. That's good. Yeah, I can see how that would Unknown Speaker separate the separate the wheat from the chaff. I mean, not to be not to be unkind but you know, ultimately, you know, you need to, as I said, you only have limited time going to make the best that you can with it...

Ruth van Vierzen: Well, and you can see how important the whole the in booth. A prospecting process is so critical because like, let's say The people who are the sales team in the booth, aren't the ones assigned to do follow up. Typically, they would be, but let's say they're not. So you go back, you hand off a bunch of leads to people in the office, say, Okay, now follow up on these, they're going to want to know, tell me, tell me about the lead? How are they qualified? What did they opt into?

So if you have these processes in place in the booth, it's much more effective for the whole company, right for that final stage of the sales follow up. So you know, again, these asking these qualifying questions, and having a prospect qualification process in the booth is really essential.

Rob Tyson: Yeah, no, really good. And, and in terms of the, the follow up after the show, is it just a case of the faster the better or is it a bit more nuanced than that?

Ruth van Vierzen: Absolutely, the faster the better.

Rob Tyson: Okay. It's not more nuanced!

Ruth van Vierzen: I always say that the first 48 hours and even really the first 24 hours are absolutely critical, especially for b2b companies, because you have competition at the show. And if you're not following up with those leads as soon as possible, your competition is going to or the or the lead is just going to move on to other things and and and potentially forget about you. So you absolutely need to be getting on the phone up because they're already warmed up. There's nothing wrong with picking up the phone right away.

But also whatever your follow ups, like put them into your CRM, put them into if you have a you know, if you have a follow up, you know, email series, whatever it is you do is follow up, get them into that system, but also you have to make sure that you're picking up the phone. And here's another tip. If you haven't done an event at the show, or maybe you have like a VIP event I mentioned. It's also really effective to have an after show event and that doesn't have to be a big in person event. It can be something like a webinar.

Now you've given your sales follow up team, a really valid reason to follow up with leads, and you want to invite them to, to whatever webinar you make it some kind of an education based webinar, I find that to be a really effective follow up tool, especially if you've been at a show out of your city or out of state or province. And you've got people coming from all over the place, right, a webinar doesn't matter where they are.

But you know, if it's a more local trade show, you can also do an in person another in person event, maybe an event, you can do a tour of your facility, there's a lot of things you can do after the show to really engage with your prospects further.

Rob Tyson: Yeah, that's really good, creative ideas to, to to keep the momentum going, I guess. I guess, we accept that with most people. We're going to have to follow up but sometimes that won't be the case. Right? I mean, We it is possible we can even at these, even with these big ticket deals possibly we you know, if we get the we get the CEO at the trade show or whatever, it's not impossible we we couldn't get a deal there. So how it should? To what extent should we be prepared to do deals there?

Ruth van Vierzen: If we can I would say absolutely be ready for that. Yeah, you definitely don't want to be caught off guard. If someone is ready to go and they're really excited about your solution, then be ready to whether it's knowing that, like a lot of these trade shows they have meeting spaces available for doing appointments or like sales meetings. You can do it in your booth. I see a lot of companies, they'll have a table for that.

You could also, you know, the person may want to set up an appointment with you, right? I mean, that's a wonderful ideal scenario. If you've got if you've got a prospect who bids basically says, Yeah, I like what you're all about. And I want, I want to have a meeting, just be ready. Encourage them to meet with you that day at the show. And if they if that doesn't work, just make sure that you've got the appointment booked with a sales person and that person before they leave your booth. And if and if someone's not interested, they're going to be very open to looking at their calendar and booking something with you on the spot.

Rob Tyson: Okay, got it. So we can we can hopefully, hopefully do some deals there. And then, which is always a nice feeling.

Ruth van Vierzen: Yeah. And and the other thing is, if you've planned your strategy, well in advance, you can have incentives for people to be booking appointments with you at the show. Right. So whether they're meeting with you, they're making some commitments, you know, again, this is going to depend on the company and what they do, but the company can, a lot of companies will have show specials.

And, you know, I'm very sensitive to gimmicky things. I think most consumers Are but if you if it sounds like a legitimate enticement that it's like yeah, you know what, that actually really is a good savings. It is just a show special but you but you have to commit to booking a meeting while you're at the show, then that's another really great way to increase your prospect to sales conversion.

Rob Tyson: I guess it really comes back full circle to what you're saying the beginning which is no, you can just from talking to you, it's obvious that people can get way better results just by doing the thinking and the preparation around these things. They perhaps don't need to be superstar salespeople, but they just need to start to get the right systems in place and and think about this in a bit of detail, rather than just rock up at the show and just kind of go 'okay, we're here and that's enough.'

Ruth van Vierzen: Exactly, the preparation is absolutely essential. And I think this is where a lot of companies just don't devote enough time and resources, but the payoff is huge. And you know, I, in my outsource sales work, I will often say that, you know, anyone I believe anyone who has the desire can be a really good salesperson, but what companies are lacking are the systems, the more you can systematize the sales process.

And you know, that includes systematizing, your tradeshow approach, then that means that now you have empowered your salespeople with the tools they need to to engage better with prospects at the trade show, leading to more sales being closed. So it's equipping them right with what they need and that comes right down to are they proud to be in the display? is it doing a good job of attracting visitors? Are the marketing tools engaging Are you Collecting leads. Are you having good conversations? And then are you doing the sales follow up? But it all begins with the preparation.

Rob Tyson: Yeah, great. And if listeners only took one nugget or piece of advice away from this conversation, what is it, Ruth?

Ruth van Vierzen: It's that if you're if you're going to do trade shows, commit the resources and the time to trade shows that they deserve, so that you can really maximize your return on investment.

Rob Tyson: Very good. And is there one small, concrete action they could take right now to get started with this kind of thing?

Ruth van Vierzen: I would say, look up so look at what they're currently doing. Take a look at their existing approach, pull out their tradeshow booth and do an honest objective evaluation and see if if there isn't maybe you know consume consensus that with some creative thinking and preparation they could maybe be dramatically increasing their ROI but begin by looking at what they're doing do an evaluation and and just see if Yeah, maybe they find that they're not maybe missing the mark a little bit.

Rob Tyson: It's been really good Ruth, thanks for for all this information. Where's the best place for people to get more from you around this kind of thing?

Ruth van Vierzen: Well, I'm very active on LinkedIn. I do a lot of connecting communicating with people on LinkedIn initially. So if they wanted to just look for me on LinkedIn, that's a great place to start and they can also check out my website. My website's pretty comprehensive with information about what I do. I do really value packed blogs that they may want to check out, they can learn a little bit more about my approach to sales and marketing.

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