Have a Conversation Before You Ask Questions

Asking someone who has just walked into your booth if you can answer any questions for them before you’ve even had a conversation is neither a productive nor effective way to engage a prospect. By trying to engage an attendee this way, you may actually drive some good prospects away as they answer “no” (which they’re most likely to do) and then hurry out of your booth.

The best way to engage a prospect is with open-ended questions, (i.e. “Hi, Ted. I see you’re with xyz company. What do you do there?”) People love to talk about themselves and this will give you an opportunity to probe further and qualify your attendee remembering of course, to let them do most of the talking so that you can help them find the best solution.

You’ll need to be prepared and practice asking open-ended questions to start your interactions. You’ll find that most attendees that you actually engage will have questions that you’ll be only too happy to answer and find solutions for. And they’ll gladly reveal those questions to you – but only if you don’t try to start the conversation by asking them what they are!

Do you have a good open-ended question that works to engage attendees as they pass your booth?

Susan Brauer About Susan Brauer

Susan Brauer, CME and president at Brauer Consulting Group, has more than 20 years experience in the trade show and events industry. Her experience in setting strategic, quantifiable objectives, promoting and strengthening key corporate messages and demonstrating ROI has led her to also become a sought-out speaker at national trade show events and conferences. Susan’s areas of expertise include strategic goal-setting, event measurement programs, booth staff training and hands-on, interactive workshops.

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