25 Do’s & Don’ts For Effective Selling at Trade Shows
- get yourself mentally set for a positive, dynamic selling experience. Trade shows are exciting events full of selling opportunities.
- get yourself physically fit for standing while you are on duty. Select footwear carefully.
- get a good night’s sleep. Leave the late-night partying to others.
- get thoroughly briefed on your staff assignment—attire, work schedule, handouts, visiting VIPs, lead management, etc.—well in advance.
- rehearse your facts and figures so you can make convincing presentations.
- formulate some open-ended, qualifying questions.
- practice the art of continuing to probe with qualifying questions. This technique shows genuine interest and is very informative.
- ensure that your on-duty wardrobe is in keeping with your booth presentation.
- look your best when you step on to the show floor—hair groomed, shoes shined, clothes neatly pressed.
- arrive for your duty several minutes ahead of schedule so you don’t create unnecessary worry for your fellow staffers.
- stand straight in a relaxed pose with hands clasped or at your side.
- project a warm personality by wearing a smile and using non-threatening conversation.
- extend a friendly greeting and initiate a good business-like handshake.
- be courteous to all visitors, gracefully disengaging from those who are not qualified prospects.
- concentrate on good eye contact throughout the qualification process.
- listen actively and intently for hidden needs. Let the prospect do most of the talking.
- be sincere and honest in your presentation. MOST people can see through inflated claims.
- display genuine enthusiasm for your organization, its products, and services.
- put all leads and business cards in a secure place with other leads.
- keep the booth clean, uncluttered, and well organized.
- take a short break after every two hours of booth duty. A stale staffer is an ineffective representative.
- be a good neighbor. Make an effort to get to know the staffers in the booths around you and explain your reasons for attending the show. They may send you prospects or be prospects themselves.
- take time to walk the show, surveying competition and observing other exhibits and exhibitors.
- make mental notes of how your company’s participation could improve and share appropriately.
- be on your best behavior throughout. Remember, you and your company are on display 24/7.
- come to the show with a negative attitude. Instead, take the view that is a positive change of pace.
- expect your exhibit to sell your products or company. Your job is to use the exhibit as a stage for your presentation.
- forget your name tag. Pin it on your right lapel or side so it’s easily read while shaking hands.
- let anything in your personal appearance, such as extreme wardrobe, distract your audience.
- block access to your booth with people or exhibitry.
- fold your arms across your chest, put your hands in your pockets or lean or sit on the exhibitry.
- act like a robot with no feeling about what you are selling.
- fidget, frown, or look impatient, bored, or tired.
- eat, drink, chew gum, or comb your hair in the booth.
- allow literature, briefcases, coats, sales leads, or business cards to clutter the booth.
- be afraid to initiate a discussion. Attendees expect this.
- assume anything about the visitor to your booth.
- be patronizing to any attendee, regardless of age, gender, race, or any identifying characteristic.
- ask general, dead-end questions such as “May I help you?”
- disappear from the booth for any reason without explaining your absence to a fellow staffer.
- talk too much, especially about yourself or company.
- pass out business cards, literature, sample, or novelties (SWAG) without first qualifying prospects.
- be tempted to talk at length with poor prospects.
- waste the time of good prospects. You’ll make a much better impression by respecting their valuable time.
- hesitate to encourage the prospect to compare your products to others at the show. This sort of confidence usually prevails.
- forget to close your conversation properly with a qualified prospect by asking a leading question such as “when do you plan to move forward with your purchase?”
- miss an opportunity at the end of an important discussion to suggest an exchange of business cards or to swipe their badge to the lead management system.
- put leads or business cards in your pocket where they can get misplaced or not shared with team members.
- fraternize too much with your competition.
- underestimate the power of trade shows.
Do you need Doors that Brand your building? Follow the making of a Winning Entrance
In March, we completed our #inoticedoors hashtag photo contest, and we announced the winning photo by Mike of The Lazzaro Companies: an entrance at Peoples Bank in Highland, IN.
A Winning Design
This entrance is unique, featuring not only curved framing but also curved muntins that complete the circular shape. Where the curved muntins run thru the door– completing the circle design– vertical muntins begin and travel down to the bottom rail. What an intricate design! Also notable– the vertical framing above the entrance echoes the lines of the inactive middle leaf. These are not your typical bank doors!
Arches with Curved Framing in Production
Little did anyone know, this entrance had caught our eye much earlier on! We had several projects coming through production with beautifully curved framing in December.
Any project with curved framing results in a show-stopping entrance– but it wasn’t until I saw the drawings that I knew this would be an entrance that brands a building!
An Entrance that Brands a building– and Endures
Many Peoples Bank locations feature a similar or nearly identical design with a circular shape and arched framing. However, this is the first to feature Special-Lite entrance products. According to Mike Nolan at The Lazzaro Companies, the original drawings called for aluminum-clad residential doors to suit the overall look the designer wanted. However, Mike advised the bank that Special-Lite was the way to go for this opening. Mike had experience using Special-Lite products in the past. He understood that residential doors do not accept commercial hardware well. In addition, residential doors are certainly not as durable as commercial entrance systems. With support from the contractor, Larson-Danielson, Mike worked with the engineering department at Special-Lite to come up with the opening you see in the photo.
Every entrance product at Special-Lite is made-to-order. This enables us to make a one-of-a-kind entrance such as this one, that stands out and communicates your brand. We love helping organizations create an entrance that leaves a lasting impression on all who enter!
Bullet Resistant (Ballistic)It is sad to think that we live in a time where we need to design entrance solutions for keeping our families and property safe, but we must continually innovate to overcome the threats that present themselves in daily life. Bullet resistant doors or ballistic doors and complete ballistic-rated entrance systems are an important part of this innovation. (We previously discussed in Part 1 the reason we don’t use the term “bulletproof door” when referring to these products.) What makes a product bullet resistant? There are several ratings that could describe the level of bullet resistance in a product. The most common are:
- UL 752
- National Institute of Justice (NIJ) 0108.01
- State Department SD-STD-02.01
- ASTM F-1233
- HP White Laboratories HPW-TP 0500.02
- European Standard DIN EN 1063
- British Standards Institution BS 5051
- Councils of Standards Australia/New Zealand AS/NZ 2343
Blast ResistantIn some cases, such as in government installations, there is a blast requirement for most if not all exterior entrance systems. There are a couple of different approaches to achieve a blast rating for a blast-rated door specification.
- Arena Testing- This is obviously the most fun. As you can imagine by the name, this testing occurs outside in a controlled area, by setting off explosives to achieve the desired load and duration. The entrance system is instrumented to record the forces felt during the explosion. The advantage of using an arena test is that you’re not limited to certain dimensions on the product you’re testing. The downside with this method is that it is more difficult to obtain a specific pressure and duration due to the variation in explosive behavior.
- Shock Tube- The shock tube is an instrument used to replicate and direct blast waves at a sensor or a model to simulate actual explosions and their effects, usually on a smaller scale. The advantage of using the shock tube is that you can repeat the test more accurately than arena testing. The disadvantage is that the size of the shock tube restricts the size of the specimen.
How do I know what level of protection I needed for an entrance?To be successful when ordering these types of systems, I strongly recommend that you take the time to understand the science behind the products that will protect you and your customers. Understanding the requirements of your state or local jurisdictions and having all the information ensures that you and your customer have on-time deliveries and products that meet the requirements for the project. For example, the load results for HVHZ approved systems are calculated in pounds per square foot. With ballistic systems, you need to understand the caliber of bullet that your entrance must withstand in an attack. This information will dictate the level of protection required. For blast-rated protection, you will need to know the blast load the product (in this case, a blast-rated door) needs to withstand, calculated pounds per square inch (psi), as well as the impulse calculated in pounds per square inch and milliseconds (psi-ms). For intrusion resistance, you need to know the amount of time that you want to hold a perpetrator at bay and if you want laminated glass or polycarbonate glazing.
More From this Series:Part 1 of 3: Proof vs. Resistant and Intrusion/Forced Entry Resistance Part 2 of 3: Hurricane and Storm Resistance
Related Articles:Doors + Hardware Magazine | May 2017 | Proof vs. Resistant: The Truth is in the Test What is Fiberglass Pultrusion? A Win for School Security: Ballistic Door Wins New Product Award
What does Hurricane or Storm Resistant Mean?Let’s begin with looking at hurricane ratings. Most hurricane resistant doors are required to meet at least one of the following standards:
- ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
- ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)
- TAS (Testing Application Standard)
- IBC (International Building Code)
- IRC (International Residential Code)
Hurricane TestingWhat makes an entrance hurricane rated? Most test protocols will include static loads, cyclic loads, air infiltration, large missile impact, water infiltration and forced entry. all-fiberglass or fiberglass/aluminum doors perform exceptionally well during this type of test. Furthermore, due to their resistance to humidity and salt water, they are great options when considering new or replacement doors in the coastal regions of the U.S.
Hurricane-Rated Special RequirementsHurricane-rated products come with stricter requirements than some other types of tested and rated products. One important thing to remember is that the size of the product that you intend to sell or install cannot exceed the size of the specimen tested– although it can be smaller. The hardware and seals must be consistent with the configuration the approval states. You can deviate from the approval only with permission from the AHJ. This is why a manufacturer will sell a complete hurricane rated entrance: door, frame, hardware, seal, etc. in exactly the configuration tested.
More from this series:Part 1 of 3: Proof vs. Resistant & Forced Entry (Intrusion) Resistance Part 3 of 3: Bullet Resistance, Blast Resistance, and How to Choose Your Level of Protection
Related Articles:The University of Florida is Set to “Judge” Building Architectural Products and Entry Systems The University of Florida’s Website: Multi-Axis Wind Load Simulator
Proof vs. ResistantHave you ever heard someone say that an object was Something Proof and in reality, it should have been Something Resistant? According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of proof is: “Able to withstand something damaging; resistant.” Ok, that makes sense… until you look up the definition of resistant in the same dictionary. That definition goes something like this: “Opposed to something; wanting to prevent something from happening.” So, proof or resistant, tomato or tomato? They should mean the same thing, not exactly. The “proof” is in the pudding. Yes, bulletproof sounds more impressive than bullet resistant. Using the term bulletproof is an absolute statement and not an entirely factual statement. At the end of the day, if someone or something wants in, the laws of physics will work against you. If something is big enough, powerful enough, hard enough, wet enough, fast enough– you get the picture– it’s coming in. For this reason, I would rather see the term “resistant” used in all descriptions having anything to do with bullet, blast, intrusion or storm rated entrance systems.
What is Intrusion Resistance?If you are looking for solutions that would slow down a perpetrator from gaining access to your building, one of the options is to add intrusion resistant glazing to your entrance. The definition of intrusion is; “the act or an instance of intruding; an unwelcome visit.” Intrusion resistant products are also commonly called attack resistant or forced entry resistant.
Intrusion Resistance TestingThere are several test standards used depending on the approval. The most common are ASTM and UL (Underwriters Laboratories), and the U.S. State Department forced entry test. Also, some state correction facilities utilize their own set of standards. Some companies are trying to “update” the current standards that would better represent current conditions. Depending on the data that you look at, the national average for the police to respond to a 911 call is between 6 and 10 minutes. The goal of an intrusion resistant entrance system is to delay intruders from gaining access until the cavalry arrives. These systems may or may not be bullet resistant but remember the object here is to delay the intruder from gaining access to the facility not to stop a bullet.
Intrusion Resistant Glass and GlazingThere are two innovative variations of intrusion resistant glazing that can be utilized for this requirement. One option is a patent pending product that slows down intruders up to twelve minutes before gaining access. The laminated glass comes in 5/16″ and 1″ insulated. This glass is a bit more expensive but provides all the benefits of a glass vision lite that an end user may prefer. The second option is a clear polycarbonate that has a scratch resistant coating. I strongly suggest packing a lunch if you are trying to break through this material. You can literally go after it with a sledgehammer and not break it! This polycarbonate is an inexpensive solution for intrusion resistance.
A Complete Forced-Entry Resistant SystemIt is important to note that the glazing material is only one aspect of an intrusion resistant system. The doors and vision lite kits used to hold this glazing material are just as important. They must all work as a system to counteract the threat. When selecting intrusion resistant products, it is important that you choose intrusion-resistant doors, frames, glazing, and vision lite kits. Manufacturers typically reinforce vision lite kits with more fasteners and material to allow the system to withstand a threat. I know what you’re thinking: More fasteners? No one is going to buy that! Well, just because there are more fasteners doesn’t mean you have to see them! Some companies have developed ingenious ways of disguising their intrusion resistant glazing kits so to the average person it does not look reinforced.
Stay TunedRead the rest of this blog series to find out why it’s important to direct attention to testing standards when explaining the levels of protection or comparing products!
More from this Series:Part 2 of 3: Hurricane and Storm Resistance Part 3 of 3: Bullet Resistance, Blast Resistance, and How to Choose a Level of Protection
In 1981 Fond du Lac County built a new courthouse with Special-Lite SL-16 Aluminum Flush doors. Around that time, we [D.A. Loss Associates] started representing Special-Lite. John Nelson started working for the County in 1977, but will be retiring soon. He has come to appreciate the longevity of the doors, “They were installed when the building was built and we have not had any problems.”
John recently asked for help when he needed a new weather brush. He decided to use our SL-301 Adjustable Bottom Brush that Special-Lite invented a few years back, and now these courthouse doors will be better than new. I love my job because I get to work with people like John and see how we have grown to become a part of many communities in Wisconsin. I hope I get to see John before he retires, if not I wish him all the best.
Custom Colors Add More LifeLike many school systems in California, Newark USD has a district standard color which appears on lockers, chairs, wall panels, and many other furnishings, including interior and exterior doors. Special-Lite painted early Newark orders to match the district’s light blue standard color. When the bond issue passed, and hundreds of Special-Lite Doors were specified, Special-Lite created a custom-matched through-and-through colored FRP in “Newark Blue.” Special-Lite can offer custom FRP colors for orders of 100 doors or more.
Easy Cleaning FRPTo control their graffiti problem, Newark made it a policy to remove it within 24 hours. Quick removal discourages repeat attacks, and the SpecLite 3® FRP face sheets on the SL-17 made this easy to do without damaging the door finish. As a result, Newark has virtually eliminated its graffiti problem.
Bond Issues Don’t Pay for MaintenanceIn 2003, the “test doors” on the gym were still in service. Larry Mara had retired, and the new Director of Facilities David Goldin was presiding over a major retrofit project involving the installation of more than 600 SL-17 FRP Doors with 10-32 Insert Frames on ten schools in the system. New construction has since pushed the total door count past 700. Mr. Goldin has moved on to the San Francisco Public Schools, where he has said he plans to continue solving entrance problems with Special-Lite FRP Doors.
“The bond program doesn’t pay for maintenance. We’re building all these new buildings but the bond program doesn’t add one new custodian to the program. This district made a decision to spend more money on certain products, bathroom partitions, Corian bathroom wall panels, FRP doors… things that will minimize the need for more custodians, because the money is not there.” – David GoldinEven when school systems are successful in passing a bond measure to fund the construction of new schools, it won’t solve the problem of escalating operating and maintenance costs, unless building products and systems are specified that can reduce maintenance requirements while delivering longer service life, to provide the lowest possible lifecycle cost. Newark USD found that for exterior entrances, the right spec is the Special-Lite® SL-17 FRP Door.