My two kids love to go to the mall. They can’t wait to visit the play place and run around with all the other kids. My wife used to worry that our daughter would be shy like she was as a child. She wants my daughter Esmée to be more outgoing than she was.
As I sat there and watched my son and daughter interact with the other children I marveled at the dynamics of their interactions. Children have very little in the way of social filters and it’s amazing how easygoing they all are. What made my heart beam was that my daughter would continue to ask children to play with her until she got a yes. There was no rejection or hurt feelings, she would just keep asking until she got what she was looking for.
Your booth staff that work in your trade show exhibits can learn from this persistence without resistance. I believe Jack Canfield coined the term SWSWSW-N which means “Some Will, Some Won’t, So What, – Next! Not dwelling in the rejection of the no but moving on to find someone where the message and market match up.
I have worked in my share of trade show booths and very seldom do I see booth staff putting themselves out there like my daughter. They are afraid to even interact with passers-by because they may feel ignored or rejected. Get over it! If you can’t say “hi” to someone as they pass by and attempt to stop them at your booth with some genuine human interaction than you were probably not the best choice for booth duty. Yes it can be embarrassing and bruise the ego when people ignore you.
The good news is the more you do it the easier it becomes. Heck it can even be fun to see how harsh people can be. By sharing the experience with a partner you can take the sting out of it. You can even make it into a game to see who can engage the most people. Once your focus is not on your own feelings but on the outcome of your actions everything shifts.
If you still can’t get over yourself and be proactive on the trade show floor you can always hire a professional. They sometimes go by “crowd gatherer”, “traffic builder” or “lead detector” but they all pretty much do the same thing. They take the brunt of the rejection for you and they are trained to stop, interact, and persuade attendees to enter your booth. You will have more leads and you booth will be more effective. If this approach interests you, talk to Kevin England at Vonazon and he will be sure to help you with your booth staffing needs.
The next time you are at a trade show and you are working a booth, try putting yourself out there a little more. I’m sure you’ll be surprised at the results. After all it’s so easy a child can do it. 😉