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Talent Dynamics RSS Feed Blog Archive: November 2014

Nicci’s Call: Being A Successful Exhibitionist

By Nicola Bonfanti – Talent Dynamics for Sales

There are opportunities to exhibit all year long if you look for them but make sure you have a Trader on your stand to get the best from the event.

You’ve seen those exhibitions where smartly suited Dynamo people are sitting behind their stand talking amongst themselves or on their phones so as not to waste time but end up not engaging with many people.

They are there to be seen but not necessarily to serve. They will go home thinking the exhibition was a waste of time and money!

Or the stands where the Blaze exhibitors have wide smiles outstretched arms asking “Can I help you?”  The obvious answer is “No, thanks” and scuttle on as you don’t know what they do or what to ask for.   They will wonder what they did wrong!

But if you want to have a busy exhibition stand, lots of people to talk to, have contact details for new prospects, give a good impression of what you do to a lot more people than you could at a networking event and maybe even make some money by selling your goods and services, make sure a Trader is on your team who will focus on the client and make sure the follow up is done!

Whatever profile you are, here are 3 of the many ways to leverage the value  of your exhibition stand:

  1. Don’t try and sell anything. 
  2. Give something valuable in return for a visitor’s business card 
  3. Make your stand an interactive experience

1. Don’t try and sell anything.

Don’t expect or try to sell anything immediately. You are there to build a relationship first and foremost so spend time engaging with your visitors, finding out more about them. Have some form of short survey to gain valuable market information, have something free to give them that tells them more about you, your services and your products.    Make sure any freebies relate to your products or services.

Too many people have something to give away that is just a waste of money as it is not relevant to your business nor memorable.

However, make it easy for your visitors to buy should they choose to by having special offers for the exhibition only as some people buy on impulse if you have explained your products and services well (there is a different mind-set  between selling something and enabling a visitor to buy something and that difference could cost you the sale!).

Your Trader team member will make sure you have all the paperwork and everyone is followed up.

  • What questions could you use to engage and draw visitors in?
  • If you choose to have a free gift, what does it say about you? And what benefits does it give your visitor?
  • Plan special offers to give on the day.

2. Give something valuable in return for a visitor’s business card

Adding new names to your database is a key objective of being at an exhibition but visitors are more reluctant to give away their details these days for fear of being bombarded with irrelevant emails. So you have to make the give-away prize or prize draw something really special.  Think about what would appeal to you ideal client – a spa break? An high octane experience like driving an F1 car or flying in a wind tunnel? Or one of your VIP programmes?

They also want to know that they will be sent valuable information not sales chasers.

  • How will you encourage and reward visitors for giving you their contact details?

3. Make your stand an interactive experience

In order to engage with your visitors, you want them to spend time with you on your stand, so give them something to do while they are there.

Traders are all about the customer experience:

  • Guess the price
  • Competitive game
  • Photo booth that gets retweeted and talked about, e.g. when I was promoting sales programmes I had cardboard cut-outs of sales superheroes people could pose in which got our stand talked about and invited to other events
  • What is your key selling point?
  • How can visitors have an experience or an insight of what you do in a few minutes on your stand?

Where will your exhibition be in the next few months?


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DT’s Tower: Steel Margins

“Uh oh!  A Lord is going to be talking about profit margins” *run away*

Those aren’t the kinds of margins that I’ve been thinking about this month (honestly!). What I’ve been thinking about mostly are ‘margins of error’.

Nobody’s Perfect

It is a fact that none of us are perfect (sorry to break that to you).  I have yet to find anyone who has not confessed at some point in their life that they have made a mistake or things haven’t gone as planned.  In fact most of the interesting stories and the biggest learning come from when things don’t go right. 🙂

I’d also argue that the majority of us, regardless of profile, have a degree of perfectionism about us.

Perfectionism… A Friend of Procrastination

From what I’ve been thinking there are two reasons for perfectionism.

The first is about the desire to get things right.  This is most clearly evident in the Dynamo profiles of Mechanic, Creator and Star.  Intuitively they know that something isn’t quite right and like having an itch they can’t scratch they can delay doing anything until they get it right.

From the Mechanic wanting to ensure every little detail is perfect to the Star who insists that something doesn’t look right.  The problem they often encounter is because the source of their perfectionism is intuition they can’t easily explain or identify what is wrong.  They just ‘know’.

The second reason for perfectionism is insecurity.  This is the area of the Tempos, the Deal Makers, Traders and Accumulators.  Likely they will have a (full) list of points drawn that they will work through.  Unless a time limit is imposed it is likely that they will keep finding fault and making small ‘tweaks’.

Obviously both types of perfectionism isn’t good in order to get things done.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a Lord so I can appreciate the drive for perfectionism.

The devil is in the detail after all!

Delegation and Margins of Error

So are Blaze profiles guilty of perfectionism?  Well, they can be but as their talent is people they generally know the right people to get things done (and they are the ones who are usually perfectionists).  When they give feedback they can oscillate between Dynamo ‘doesn’t look right but I can’t put my finger on it’ or Tempo ‘here is a list’.

Now we come to the Steel profiles.  And an interesting thing happens, I think.  I have been accused of perfectionism.  I have also been accused of pragmatism.  Now both can’t be right can they?  What I have realised in terms of thinking about the way I look at it is that I never expect 100% (I might desire it but I know reality gets in the way most of the time).  I do sometimes oscillate between ‘something not right’ and ‘the list’.  Yet, in order to resolve either of these quandaries there is the margin of error.

So, for me, there is an acceptable margin of error.  That can shift depending on what is being worked on but I’d give it a range between 80% – 99%.

I don’t stick my finger in the air and go I’m in a 99% mood today but rather it is based on several variables:

1. How much time is left before planned completion?

2. Is there flexibility in terms of time after completion to improve?

3. How serious is the margin of error?  A seatbelt with a 20% margin of error is a bit different from a business card with a 20% margin of error 😀

It annoys the HELL out of the Dynamos I work with and confuses the Tempos no end.

Yet ultimately, this margin of error allows for decisive decisions and getting things done.

Do you have margins of error?  Or are you a perfectionist?


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Osmaan’s Observations: Mix Up Your Environment!

By Osmaan Sharif – Rapid Transformation

Have you ever had one of those days where you’ve got loads of things to complete on your ‘to-do’ list but you just aren’t being productive?

From my experience, one of the biggest reasons for this isn’t about what you’re doing (or not doing) but WHERE you’re trying to do it from!

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

So today let’s have a chat about the link between your working environment and your productivity, to see where you can re-design elements of it.

I know for that me sitting behind the same desk doing all manners of different tasks just doesn’t work!  This is because our mind makes associations between our environment & how we feel – without us even realising it.

A classic example of this is if you’ve been summoned to the ‘bosses’ office (or head teacher’s office back in the days), where you were given a slap on the wrists or some bad news (metaphorically of course).  If you were then invited back into that room for a ‘chat’ about your future, you’re mind may automatically be thinking & keeping you in the state of –‘ohhh ohhh – this isn’t good news!’ – even though it may be good news.

Environment Links to Task

So take it back to your working environment now.  Can you imagine if you were having to get your head down to work through a 100000 line spreadsheet and that was your most dreaded task of the week.  You wouldn’t really be finding it stimulating now would you, so you wouldn’t be totally pumped up or motivated, would you?  But if you’ve been there sat at the same place doing that type of work repeatedly – your mind can start to link that desk (or environment) to those types of tasks.  So even if you look at the desk, it could automatically trigger you to have those same feeling!

But would you necessarily get your most creative pieces of work written whilst sitting at that same desk, if your body & mind associated it with being in the ‘spreadsheet/numbers’ zone?  No way!

The good news is that there are so many different ways that you can mix things up (kinda like tricking your mind) – to do different tasks or activities in different places (or even in different way).

For example, I purposefully choose where I’m going to be working throughout the week & the location of where I work from varies.

Plan Tasks Around Environment

I knew early on from being my own boss that I would drive myself mad if I was cooped up in an office by myself every day.  So even though I have an office (& am moving into a new cool office – very excited!!) – I don’t make myself stay there to do everything.  Even around my office, I have different ‘zones’ – where I do different types of work.

Like when I am coaching clients on the phone or Skype – I tend to sit at a different desk from when I’m doing my e-mail & admin work.

When I need to get creative when writing new workshop materials or blogs – you’d often find me in a coffee shop.

I’m also very lucky to have found a co-working/business members place in Glasgow (SocietyM) where I spend some days a week, where I get to surround myself with other like-minded business owners.  This is also where I’ve tended to have meetings.

So I tend to schedule out where I’ll work from in advance & then arrange my meetings or activities around where I’ll be.

It makes a huge difference for how productive I am, so how about you give it a go & see how it can work for you?

Even if you have less ‘flexibility’ in terms of different locations you could work from – how about creating different ‘zones’ in your work place?  (When I worked in the corporate world, whenever I was on a phone call, I would automatically walk around in circles in beside a window (with a view of St Paul’s Cathedral in one of my last jobs!))

Let me know where some of your best places are to work from & also what changes you’re going to make to your working environment, by adding a quick comment below.

Enjoy the rest of your week & I look forward to connecting again soon.

This blog was originally posted on Os’ own site Rapid Transformation


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