Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Booth manners

I remember when my kids were little I’d remind them to practice their table manners and good behavior at home so that when we were out in public they’d remember them. Good manners make a good and unforgettable impression on strangers, particularly ones you want to do business with.

There are some dos and taboos for everyone doing booth duty. Three key dos:

  1. Be clean and well groomed and presentable. Always have a breath mint handy. Wear the uniform or prescribed dress.
  2. Be prepared, do your homework. Know what is expected of you in the booth.
  3. Always be polite and well mannered; please, thank you, may I help you are all phrases that belong in your booth vocabulary.

Now the taboos. Then there are things you shouldn’t do in any booth at any time, particularly your own. Three key things to remember:

  1. Don’t eat, drink, smoke, sit down, converse at length with other staffers (or on your cell phone) in the booth.
  2. Don’t be late or absent to your appointed scheduled booth duty hours.
  3. Don’t pocket leads or interfere with the sales process.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a starting place. These skills and duties should be supplemented with a good pre-, during- and post-show meeting schedule that briefs and debriefs your staff about the show. They need to know what’s expected of them before, during and after the show. Competitive information and customer or prospect scheduled meetings need to be announced and know to all who may be on duty in the booth. Be prepared and do well.

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