Seven Things You Should NEVER Do at Your Trade Show Booth

August 27th, 2014

Things You Should NEVER Do at Your Trade Show BoothA trade show is a tremendous opportunity to increase your exposure, acquire new leads and even close sales. But when I see the behavior of too many of the people staffing trade show booths, I wonder why the companies bother exhibiting at all.

At show after show after show, I see the same behaviors over and over again. Behaviors that cost sales. Here are seven things you and your salespeople should never do at your booth:

1. Talk on your phone
2. Work or play games on your phone, tablet or laptop
3. Eat
4. Look bored
5. Talk with each other in the booth
6. Read
7. Leave it unattended

All of these things make visitors feel unwelcome and unimportant. If you can’t be bothered to treat me with enthusiasm and respect at a trade show, why should I think you’d treat me any better as a customer?

In fact, all of these behaviors are worse than not exhibiting in the first place, because if I see any of them, I now have a negative view of your company. Which means I’m less likely to do business with you.

How can you prevent these behaviors?

1. Staff appropriately
Schedule enough people to attend the show so that everyone has ample time for breaks. And select people who are enthusiastic about going.

2. Train your staff
A trade show is a unique sales environment. Bring in an outside expert to conduct a training seminar for your people so they can make the most of it.

3. Incentivize them
Behaviors that are rewarded get repeated. So what do you want them to do? Create incentives to encourage those behaviors.

A trade show is a huge investment of time, effort and money. If you want to achieve more sales from that investment, make sure you’re staffing, training and incentivizing effectively. That way your people can sell to the visitors that were ignored at all the other booths.

The Four Things Buyers Want Most

August 20th, 2014

Four Things Buyers Want MostEveryone knows that buyers want the best products and the best service at the best prices. But that’s not all they want. And in fact, those aren’t even the most important things they want. What are the most important things buyers want?

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Radio with Michele Price. In this nine-minute segment, I share what these four items are and why they matter so much. When you provide these four things to your prospects and customers, you’ll gain a huge edge over your competitors.

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

The Four Things Buyers Want Most: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Radio (which I absolutely recommend), check out

Change Your Perspective, Change Your Sales

August 13th, 2014

Sales Perspectives 1


Suppose you’re checking into a hotel. You have a choice. You could have a room with the above view or….

you could have a room with this view:

Sales Perspectives 2


Which would you choose?

Odds are, you’d choose the room with the first view.

Of course you would. From the first room you can see sun, sky, water, trees, boats! From the second room you’re stuck looking at the adjacent building and some concrete rooftops. Bleah.

Here’s the thing, though:

They’re the same room.


Sales Perspectives 3


This is an actual room I was staying in at a recent conference in San Diego. While I could have chosen to focus on the view to the right, I chose instead to focus on the view to the left. That’s the view I was grateful for each morning when I woke up.

How we choose to see things tremendously affects our mood, our energy, our thinking and our actions. Our perspective impacts our results.

Do you see challenges or opportunities? Are you trying to sell stuff or are you trying to help people? Are you bitter about what you don’t have or grateful for what you do have? Is your product really expensive or is it really good, with a price that’s commensurate?

Never in life are situations 100% perfect. The question is, are you choosing to focus on what’s wrong or on what’s right? Your weaknesses or your strengths? The fact that you failed or the fact that you can still succeed?

You get to choose how you see everything in your business and personal life. If you don’t like what you see now, perhaps you need to start looking at things differently. Change your perspective, and you’ll change your sales, your relationships and your life.

The Worst Sales Letter EVER

August 6th, 2014

Worst Sales LetterRecently my e-mail in-box was graced with the worst sales letter I’ve ever received:

Subject: Referral please – company contact

Dear Don:

I am hoping you would direct me to the right people within your organization to speak with. I have recently been assigned your organization as one of my named accounts. Thus, it is important for me to be able to speak with those who are responsible for a) lead-generation, b) demand-creation, c) sales support and d ) marketing programs. I would sincerely appreciate it if you would forward my letter to them or perhaps write me and give me the proper names.

I was recently hired and am very excited about my new job. I want to be able to dazzle my management with my ability to proactively get in touch with the right people. Thus, I have been doing a great deal of research on the web, going through Linked In, Google +, Xing and other similiar sites.

Over the past twenty years my company has worked with Intel, HP, Oracle, Microsoft, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Google, Apple, Yahoo and hundreds of other Tier-1 firms. We provide a wide variety of services surrounding sales and marketing. If you have the time please give me a call to discuss same at 512.377.XXXX.

How bad is this letter? Let me count the ways:

1. There are 18 first-person references (I, me, my) and only five second-person references (you, your). That’s nearly a 4-1 ratio, and the opposite of what it should be. Because a good sales letter focuses on the prospect’s wants, needs, goals and concerns.

2. There’s no mention of benefits or results. Why should I be interested?

3. It dwells on what he wants and what’s important to him. I don’t care what he wants! I don’t even know him!

4. He’s asking me to do his job for him. Like I have time for that.

5. He states, “I was recently hired…” Which means he probably doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing and can’t answer my questions. There goes his credibility down the toilet.

6. He’s lying. He hasn’t done any research on me. If he had, he would know I’m the person to talk to. He would also know something about me, which he would mention in the letter. Since he’s lying, clearly he—and his company—cannot be trusted.

7. It’s spam. Ironically, what gives it away is the disclaimer at the end: “If you’ve received this letter in error, simply respond to the letter and put remove in the subject or click on the following link…”

8. The word “similar” is spelled wrong.

A great sales letter gets the reader’s attention, engages them with good questions, provides enough information to whet their appetite for more and closes with a simple yet powerful call to action. A terrible sales letter wastes everyone’s time and makes the company look bad. Which do your sales letters more closely resemble?