THINK YOU’RE AT SALES?

Pick a sales training buzzword and it may have touched you.
Maybe managers said you should go to a course to get your
inner feelings in tune with your Palm schedule in tune with
work-life balance, and everything in tune with your life
strategy. Life was great. For about a week.

Then, products changed or were recalled. Lawsuits
mounted. Customer expectations in today’s financial and
ethical marketplace demanded more of you and your
company. In too short a time, your corporate financials were
being restated while your 401K melted and your stock
portfolio slunk away, embarrassed by its original
exuberance. Half your department or division or the whole
company disappeared. Life was great once.

If you’re in sales or marketing, you know what you did every
day. That was the daily drill. You can’t do it any more. And,
you certainly can’t do it at a trade show.

Here are four ways to understand your own – and your
company’s – sales style at a trade show. Maybe you’re still
hot. Probably not.

THE GOOD OL’ BOY NETWORK …
This is the way it used to be and in some industries, it still
is. Women may have broken some of the glass in the
ceiling, minorities may be a tad more than token, and you
may believe age doesn’t matter. Wrong. It’s attitude,
networking and politics. It’s still who knows who.

If you’re in certain industries – usually the ones at the
beginning of the industrial food chain or international money
making – you may think your job is safe because of trust and
GOB networking. Yet, because of international tensions,
economic disasters, lousy mergers, and technology which
produces a 24-hour business day, those handshakes you
felt so comfortable with before, now may get you handcuffs
or a brush off.

TRADE SHOW – Don’t rest on laurels or assume the GOB
will protect you or guarantee your deals. Self preservation
may be more important, pricing may be more critical, and
the pecking order may have changed without making the
papers. What to do? Gather critical information before you
go to the show, don’t be naïve, and learn to open up your
networking channels.

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