How to Boost Your Credibility at a TradeshowA trade show is a challenging sales environment. You don’t have the natural advantages you have when talking with a prospect on your own turf. Your competition is everywhere. And all the exhibits look so similar.

How do you stand out and effectively compete? Especially against larger competitors that may be able to buy a bigger booth space than you?

Here are 14 ways to enhance your credibility at the show so you can gain an edge.

1. Awards
You have the awards you’ve won hanging on the walls of your business, but that doesn’t help you at the show. So bring them with you and hang them in your exhibit.

2. Certifications
Do the same with all the certifications of your people. Every one increases your perceived credibility.

3. Photos and Video
Attendees can’t walk through your facility, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show it to them. Post pictures or video of it—perhaps even a virtual tour. You can also use photos and video to highlight products you couldn’t bring to the show or to provide “Before and After” examples.

4. Media Stories
Publicity equals credibility. So post any and all media coverage you’ve received, whether print or video.

5. Reviews and Rankings
Has some credible third party reviewed you or ranked you on a list? Enlarge that and show it off.

6. Testimonials
Customers’ words carry weight with prospects so look for ways to display them throughout your exhibit.

7. Customers
Invite some of your customers to join you at the show. (Pay all their expenses and treat them like royalty.) When attendees can talk directly with your customers at your exhibit, that’s the best sales and marketing there is.

8. White Papers
Create a white paper or special report to demonstrate your expertise and give it to all your visitors.

9. Demos
Showing your product in action can not only draw a crowd, but it can convert prospects into buyers on the spot.

10. Service Techs
Many attendees are hesitant to talk with salespeople, but they’ll happily talk with technicians. And because they typically have both extensive product knowledge and passion for the product, techs can make excellent salespeople.

11. Manufacturer Reps
If you’re a distributor or retailer, ask your manufacturers to send some of their reps to help you at your show. Every rep you have at your exhibit boosts your credibility.

12. Staff Adequately
One mistake that hurts your credibility is not having enough staff at your exhibit. Attendees don’t want to wait, and if there isn’t a person available to engage them immediately, they’re likely to walk.

13. Train Your People
A trade show is unlike any other sales situation, and to be effective, your team needs specific training. A modest investment in a pre-show seminar or workshop can pay huge dividends.

14. Sponsorships
Just because you can’t afford the title sponsorship doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from being a sponsor. Any sponsorship can aid your exposure and credibility if you leverage it well.

Trade shows are valuable marketing and sales opportunities. To maximize them, employ as many of these strategies as possible. The more credibility you generate, the more you’ll stand out, the more attendees will trust you, and the more sales you’ll close.

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