Show Roles and Guidelines with Mike Gruenberg

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Note: This text is a paraphrase. To see the entire interview you will need to watch the video.

Welcome to Exhibitor Lounge sponsored by Exhibit I am your host and trade show Mixologist, Michael Gray. Here each week you receive simple practical and proven tips to improve your tradeshow marketing strategy and get better results while maximizing your budget.

Mike Gray (host) – We have back with us Mike Gruenberg from Gruenberg Consulting. Just to recap from our last 4 sessions, we talked about all the prep work that goes months/weeks before the show, hours before the show, at the show and after the show is over and now we are going to dig into “On the Show Floor.” Mike, what does it mean when you say your business is on display and the trade show is a stage?

Mike Gruenberg (guest). – It means is that people go to Exhibit Houses like Exhibit Edge to create beautiful exhibits to represent their company. The reality of it is that what is being created is to make the visitors feel comfortable, speak to your company and have fun. Regardless of what product is being presented, whether it is dog food or a high-end electronic product, you can have the greatest display to present it, however the key element is that people do business with people. The exhibit should be fun and inviting but your sales reps are the key to how they represent your company.

Mike Gray – This leads me to ask you the next question on the sales people role. What is the art of trade show selling and how is it different from regular selling?

Mike Gruenberg – Trade show selling is vastly different from regular sales call. On the trade show floor, the sales person has 30 seconds to qualify the prospect, determine their needs and speak to those needs that my company can provide for them.

Mike Gray – So besides the 30 seconds to qualify, there is also the 30 seconds elevator speech?

Mike Gruenberg – Yes, every sales person has to have that 30 seconds elevator speech where you describe to the prospect what your company does distinctly, and quickly so that you get a favorable reaction. For example, this is ABC company, we make switches, we have been doing this for the last 12 years and this is how we do it and lastly what we can help you with?

Mike Gray – Can we talk about the pace at the show floor. It is not the same as a sales call.

Mike Gruenberg – No it is completely different. A sales person who is good at sales call may not necessarily be good on the show floor. They need to understand that they have to move very quickly to qualify the prospect and understand what your company is offering.

Mike Gray – I completely agree Mike. Nurturing a prospect on the show floor at a slow pace means you could loose many other prospects. That is why you had mentioned the important role of the traffic cop at the booth in your earlier sessions.

Mike Gruenberg – Absolutely. The traffic cop is the person who qualifies a customer and directs them to the right sales person. A lot of times, the traffic cop may disqualify the prospect. We have also seen some visitors slip in the booth, past the traffic cop and sales would know to signal to others for help to end the conversation with the person and not waste time.

Mike Gray- Besides signaling, a good strategy could also be to give them a giveaway that can help trigger the end of the conversation with that person.

Mike Gruenberg – Yes definitely, 80% of the people who attend the trade show are either decision makers or influencers and the other 20% are just there to probably grab different giveaways. It is important to know how you are going to manage all those days on the trade show floor and how to direct people. If there are time wasters, move them along as they are not relevant to what a sales person needs to accomplish. At the end of the day, the sales team has a goal and an objective. The goal is to sell “X” amount of the product and the objective is to tell prospects about what their company is presenting.

Mike Gray- Thanks Mike for these great show time ideas.

Mike Gray – That is all the time we have for this week. Mike Gruenberg from will be back next week, so stay connected.

As always please respond with your questions or comments and let others know about We will see you next week. Until then I’m your host, Michael Gray, telling you to relax in the Exhibitor Lounge.