Trade Show Selling #6

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s the next installment in the “Secrets of Trade Show Selling” series:

Secret #6: Show Yourself in the Best Light

Have you ever noticed how brilliantly jewelry sparkles when it’s in the store’s display – and how it never seems to shine as brightly when you get it home? THAT’s the power of lighting. In this article, I’ll give you some ideas on how you can show yourself in YOUR best light.

Generally, the ambient light available in a convention center is barely adequate for setting up, let alone creating any sense of style. Beyond the obvious advantage of allowing visitors to actually READ, proper lighting attracts visitors, directs their attention, promotes visual tension and adds an element of drama and elegance to your booth design.

Good lighting commands attention. A well-lit booth is visible from a distance – and long before its dreary neighbors are noticed at all. Lighting also directs a visitor’s attention to specific elements within your booth, such as graphics and signage.

From a tension management perspective, bright and colorful spaces boost visitor tension, while dull, grey spaces reduce it. Eroding tension is your enemy in trade show selling and you must do whatever you can to stimulate productive tension. The more dramatic the lighting scheme, the more tension it produces.

If your backdrop was professionally designed and produced by a display company, you no doubt have a wide-variety of lighting options available to you from the manufacturer. While the majority of lighting will be used to illuminate the signage on the back wall of your display, supplemental lighting could be used to show off the plants or better define the booth area. If you’ve chosen to design and build a display yourself, be sure to allow for adequate lighting and the electricity to power it.

The bottom line of the sixth article in the “Secrets of Trade Show Selling” series is: Don’t underestimate the value of good lighting! Set yourself apart from your dreary neighbors and make your booth the bright spot on the trade show floor.

-T-


ChangeWorks Charlotte Class

Hi, Everyone!

Last week, seven professionals joined us for the ChangeWorks Practitioner Workshop we held at our offices in Davidson, NC — and what a fun group they were!

Here’s a few snapshots:

Back Row: T, Rhonda Sheets, Linda Thompson, Flo Watkins, Tom Searcy
Front Row: Cathy Maday, Suzi Snyder, Steve Snyder

Join us in welcoming them all to our team!

-T-

Events for 3/29 thru 4/2/2010

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s what’s on the schedule for next week.

“Building a Career that Matters” Webinar Series —

Monday, March 29th from 11AM to 12PM EST. This series explores 25 problem areas human development professionals face in building their practices. This week, our focus will be: “Problem Area #10: Competitive Differentiation” During this session, we’ll examine several ways to separate yourself from the crowd. This series is offered as a service to our professional community and is WIDE OPEN to ANY and ALL human development pros, regardless of their affiliation with ChangeWorks — so PLEASE spread the word.  Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/898602555

“ChangeWorks Forum” —

Monday, March 29th from 3PM to 4PM EST. This week, we’ll create activity lists specifically for marketing purposes and share several lists that have proven effective. Any of you who are having challenges with business development should plan to attend. This series is open to ALL graduates and current students of the ChangeWorks program.  Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/526145290

“ChangeWorks Analyst Training” —

Tuesday, March 30th from 12PM to 1PM EST, we will continue our in-depth look at the Comprehensive Adjective Map. This series is open to ALL ChangeWorks professionals who completed their Practitioner training prior to December 31, 2009. Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/788559626

“Gold Team Teleconference” —

Thursday, April 1st from 11AM to 12PM EST. This week, we will start our exploration of the “TeamBuilder” training program — tension management principles applied to building stronger teams.  The program is open to all Gold Team members.  Also, please remember to schedule your private coaching session.

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/480097795

As always, our webinars are recorded for those of you who are unable to attend the live call.

-T-

Trade Show Secrets #5

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s the next installment in the “Secrets of Trade Show Selling” series:

Secret #5: The Science of Signage

Have you ever stopped at a trade show booth because the sign caught your interest and just pulled you right in? There really is a “science to signage” and in this article, you will learn why this is such a key point to understand and implement … and how to create signage that works!

Think of your booth as the cover of a popular magazine. A cover’s job is to grab people’s attention long enough for them to read the headline. The headline’s job is get enough of a reaction from people that they are compelled to read the subheadings. The subheadings job is to make people want what’s inside badly enough that they’re willing to pay for the information. The same system applies to trade show booths.

Your booth needs a great headline. Its purpose is NOT to identify your company but rather to catch the eye of the passersby and attract them to approach your booth. As they get closer, the secondary signage should pre-qualify your visitors and pull the appropriate visitors INSIDE your booth. The remaining signage should provide qualified visitors with enough information about your company so that the purpose of your booth is fulfilled — if necessary, WITHOUT the involvement of sales staff members.

Above all, the copy on the signage MUST pay attention to tension. Words are a form of BAIT – and you need the right bait to catch the ideal prospect. For example, let’s say you’re Dynamic Staffing Services – an employment contractor. To catch the visitors’ attention, an effective headline might be, “How Many DYNAMIC People Could YOU Use?” It hints at the industry you’re in, but leaves enough mystery to boost tension. As the visitor gets closer, several secondary signs become visible. These signs pre-qualify the visitors by targeting the source of their tension, such as “Dynamic Reductions in Recruiting Costs” and “Dynamic Employment Tax Control.” Visitors with no interest in reducing recruiting costs or controlling employment taxes will de-select themselves and continue on their way – while those who enter your booth are much more likely to be the prospect you’re looking for.

The bottom line of the fifth lesson in the “Secrets of Trade Show Selling” series is to use compelling copy on your signs! Pique the curiosity of the customers with your main signage and the qualified customers will come in because of your secondary signage.

In the next article, we will take a look at “Showing Yourself in the Best Light.”

-T-

Trade Show Secrets #4

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s the next installment in the “Secrets of Trade Show Selling” series:

Secret #4: Furnishing Failures

In this article, you will find out what a “furnishing failure” is and why it’s of critical importance to set up your trade show booth with furnishings carefully planned.

Unless furniture is what you sell, it MUST be kept to an absolute minimum. You want as much open floor space as possible – and every piece of furniture robs your exhibit of valuable space for your visitors.

Most booths come standard with a 6′ or 8′ table and two chairs. If you REALLY need it, position the table as far to the BACK as possible so it doesn’t block visitors from entering your space – and, if they’re available, use tables that are as shallow as possible.

Many exhibitors now try to incorporate a video presentation or an interactive computer program into their exhibit. These are powerful ways to capture attention and convey information, but they should be IN the booth – NOT at the edge of the aisle. Ideally, video monitors should be above shoulder height and mounted on your wall system.

As far as the chairs are concerned, get rid of them altogether. NO ONE should EVER sit down – EVER. Sitting conveys the message that you are tired, bored or busy – and no one wants to visit a booth staffed by tired, bored or busy representatives. Keep productive tension high by keeping everyone on their feet. Even if you have one of those rare booths where sales transactions are both initiated and consummated on the spot, you still don’t need chairs. Instead, a small tabletop at standing height is ideal.

Finally, eliminate all physical and visual clutter. It bespeaks a lack of respect for your visitors. Use the rear walls for ALL signage, illustrations and, if you must have them at the show, brochures. A beautiful backdrop, a spotless piece of carpeting, a small storage cube and a few plants to add a natural element will meet your needs with a minimal sacrifice of floor space.

The bottom line of this fourth article in the “Secrets of Trade Show Selling” series is to make sure you don’t experience “furnishing failures.” Keep your space open and welcoming!

Next article, we will explore the “Science of Signage.”

-T-


Events for 3/25 thru 3/29/2010

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s what’s on the schedule for next week.

“Building a Career that Matters” Webinar Series —

Monday, March 22nd from 11AM to 12PM EST. This series explores 25 problem areas human development professionals face in building their practices. This week, our focus will continue the topic we began last week: “Problem Area #9: Gaps in Programs and Services.” During this session, we’ll examine 7 categories of potential sources of gaps in the menu of options you offer to your clients. This series is offered as a service to our professional community and is WIDE OPEN to ANY and ALL human development pros, regardless of their affiliation with ChangeWorks — so PLEASE spread the word.  Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/929408771

“ChangeWorks Forum” —

Monday, March 22nd from 3PM to 4PM EST. This week, we’ll create activity lists specifically for marketing purposes and share several lists that have proven effective. Any of you who are having challenges with business development should plan to attend. This series is open to ALL graduates and current students of the ChangeWorks program.  Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/977240842

“ChangeWorks Analyst Training” —

Tuesday, March 23rd from 12PM to 1PM EST, we will take an in-depth look at the Comprehensive Adjective Map. This series is open to ALL ChangeWorks professionals who completed their Practitioner training prior to December 31, 2009. Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/982725922

“ChangeWorks Practitioner Webinar Series — Session 6” —

On Wednesday, March 24th from 10AM to 12PM EST, we will hold the sixth session in our new semester of ChangeWorks. The program is open to newly-enrolled students and ALL graduates of the ChangeWorks Practitioner program.  We encourage ALL of you to refresh and expand you command of the material.

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/363467378

“Gold Team Teleconference” —

Thursday thru Saturday, March 25th thru 27th I will be conducting the ChangeWorks Practitioner intensive training program, so our regularly scheduled webinar will be not be held.  Beginning  the following week, we will start our exploration of the “TeamBuilder” training program — tension management principles applied to building stronger teams.  The program is open to all Gold Team members.  Also, please remember to schedule your private coaching session.

As always, our webinars are recorded for those of you who are unable to attend the live call.

-T-

Trade Show Secrets #3

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s the next installment in the “Secrets of Trade Show Selling” series:

Secret #3: Exploit Your Space

When it comes to creating the ideal layout for your exhibit, keep two things in mind:

First, you are trying to command the undivided attention of ALL visitors as they walk in front of your booth. Ideally, your goal is to make sure they can SEE you — but NOT notice your neighbors. Second, you want to maximize floor space so that QUALIFIED visitors can actually ENTER your exhibit.

In order to accomplish both of these goals, here are a few general rules:

1) Make your booth appear as WIDE and as DEEP as possible.

2) Optimize visibility by taking full advantage of visitor sight lines.

3) Create as much useable floor space as possible.

4) Maximize accessibility from all aisles.

For example, a corner booth should be oriented so that the booth faces INTO the INTERSECTION — NOT into either of the side aisles. The two interior walls should be as high as possible to reduce distractions from your neighbors, create a backdrop for your exhibit and form a “back corner” which increases the impression of depth.

The two exterior walls should be open to the aisles, free of drapes and other barriers. Since the “front corner” is undefined by anything other than carpet, the front of the booth appears to extend into the intersection. This configuration takes advantage of diagonals to boost the perception of width and depth — and vastly expands the sense of space by doubling your “lakefront” property.

The bottom line of the third lesson in Secrets of Trade Show Selling is Exploit Your Space! Command the undivided attention of the trade show attendees and optimize your floor space. Once you have done this, move on to the next lesson, “Furnishing Failures”, which we will explore in a future article.

– T –


Sharing Success — Post #100

Hi, Everyone!

This is our 100th post — so let’s do something to celebrate!

Not a week goes by when at least one of the ChangeWorks professionals doesn’t have a fabulous story to share with us about their success in using the ChangeGrid — and we’d love to share those stories with all of you!

So we’re inviting all ChangeWorks professional to contact us either by telephone or email with details of how you are using the ChangeGrid with your clients or in your marketing and we’ll publish it here on the blog.

– T-

Gaps in Programs and Services

Hi, Everyone!

It’s often been said, “You can’t be all things to all people.”  So I accept the fact that as a speaker, trainer, coach or consultant, you can’t offer every service or topic that your clients may want or need.  But you need to get as close as possible if you want to gain as much as possible from that relationship and ensure an easier road to referrals!

The toughest part about the human development industry is FINDING a CLIENT. Providing that client with whatever service they wanted is the EASY part – the FUN part!  So once you have gained a client, you need to keep your involvement with them purposeful and profitable.  That means you must be prepared to offer them a comprehensive and coordinated menu of programs and services.

You must ALWAYS have something
your clients want to buy.

But in all of the years we’ve been advising professionals, we’ve heard countless stories of speakers who captivate an audience with a 60-minute keynote, but don’t have any longer, more in-depth training to offer.  We’ve worked with trainers who don’t offer coaching — and coaches who don’t offer training.  And consultants who are great working on a project with a few people but are terrified to step up on stage and speak!

Some of the gaps may very well be by choice — but, for the most part, professionals in our industry simply don’t SEE what they’re missing.  In fact, of all of the speakers, trainers, coaches and consultants we’ve worked with, the average score they gave when asked how big of a problem “gaps in programs and services”  is to them was just 2.4 on a 10-point scale.  Yet when they completed an inventory of what they have to offer their clients, 100% of them determined that they were, in fact, missing something that could have been an additional source of revenue for them.

So many people in our industry are in a serious rut.  They’re teaching the same material and using the same techniques as they have been for years — and many of them are teaching concepts and using tools that existed years, generations, centuries … even millennia before they were born.  That’s not to suggest that there aren’t topics and approaches that are truly timeless — but step into the confessional here for a moment and recognize what a bunch of recyclers we’ve become.

That rut has stopped the progress of many of our peers — and most certainly slowed the progress of many of their clients.

Here’s a quick overview of six of the most common “Gaps in Programs & Services.”  Answer each of the questions asked – and then answer the BIG QUESTION:

1) Alignment Gaps

a) Do the programs and services you offer your clients continue to meet their needs year after year?

b) Have most of your clients used your services every year since you first met them — or were they interested and involved for a period of time, but have since moved on?

c) Is it time for you to realign yourself to the realities of the world in which your prospects and clients live and work — and revitalize the substance and value of what you have to offer?

2) Topic Gaps

a) Are you offering topics that have been specifically requested by your prospects and clients or do you find yourself selling them on a subject you feel strongly about but wasn’t requested by them?

b) When the economy takes a downward turn, would the average decision maker you work with consider what you offer to be mission-critical or mission-optional?

c) What percentage of the content you cover existed before you were born — and how much of it is unique to you?

3) Format Gaps

a) Are the programs and services you provide pre-mapped to relatively pre-set timeframes — or do you custom construct a solution for each client?

b) Do you have sufficient content to fill programs ranging from a simple keynote address to a multi-week workshop?

c) If your clients preferred to deliver the program themselves, are you able to certify them to do so?

4) Service Gaps

a) To what degree have you integrated pre-training consulting and post-training coaching into your standard offerings?

b) What instruments and assessments do you routinely suggest to your clients?

c) Are the instruments you use unique to your practice or are they commonly found among all your peers?

5) Support Gaps

a) What do you routinely provide your clients in terms of follow up reinforcement?

b) How often do your clients ask you how you ensure the long term benefits of the program you conducted?

c) What percentage of your clients do NOT take advantage of your suggestions?

6) Financial Gaps

a) What’s the price of admission — and the assortment of entry point products?

b) What creative financing options do you offer?

c) What do you have in your mix for: basic business, repeat business, residual business and legacy business?

So now for the BIG question: How many gaps do YOU have in your programs and services and how much revenue has that cost you?

Of course, these are but a few of the questions you need to routinely ask yourself to keep your programs and services up-to-date, state-of-the-art and in great demand by your existing and prospective clients.

We’ll cover them and several more on Monday’s “Building a Career That Matters” webinar.

-T-

Events for 3/15 thru 3/22/2010

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s what’s on the schedule for next week.

“Building a Career that Matters” Webinar Series —

Monday, March 15th from 11AM to 12PM EST. This series explores 25 problem areas human development professionals face in building their practices. This week, our focus will be “Problem Area #9: Gaps in Programs and Services.” During this session, we’ll examine 7 categories of potential sources of gaps in the menu of options you offer to your clients. This series is offered as a service to our professional community and is WIDE OPEN to ANY and ALL human development pros, regardless of their affiliation with ChangeWorks — so PLEASE spread the word.  Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/526342395

“ChangeWorks Forum” —

Monday, March 15th from 3PM to 4PM EST. This week, we’ll create activity lists specifically for marketing purposes and share several lists that have proven effective. Any of you who are having challenges with business development should plan to attend. This series is open to ALL graduates and current students of the ChangeWorks program.  Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/524355090

“ChangeWorks Analyst Training” —

Tuesday, March 16th from 12PM to 1PM EST, we will take an in-depth look at the Comprehensive Adjective Map. This series is open to ALL ChangeWorks professionals who completed their Practitioner training prior to December 31, 2009. Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/941345979

“ChangeWorks Practitioner Webinar Series — Session 5” —

On Wednesday, March 17th from 10AM to 12PM EST, we will hold the fifth session in our new semester of ChangeWorks. The program is open to newly-enrolled students and ALL graduates of the ChangeWorks Practitioner program.  We encourage ALL of you to refresh and expand you command of the material.

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/330463794

“Gold Team Teleconference” —

On Thursday, March 18th from 11AM to 12PM EST, we will begin the next ongoing education program for the Gold Team members.  Requests have been made for a variety of topics, including: Pride-Based Leadership, TeamBuilder, Coaching for Performance and the ChangeWorks Trainer program among several others.  I’m still gathering input from other members of the team and will announce the next topic early in the week.  We WILL cover ALL of the requested topics over the next several months.  Also, please remember to schedule your private coaching session.

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/517467842

As always, our webinars are recorded for those of you who are unable to attend the live call.

-T-