Here’s what I learned at the 2019 IPSPE in New Orleans last week…
These 3 things were interesting:
- Meeting Sabeena Hickman of the PHTA.
- Observing the dynamics of APSP, NSPF, PHTA, IPSSA, Genesis and Watershapes University, all together in one place.
- Discovering that my HDMI port was fried 20 minutes before my 7:30 AM seminar.
… but not as interesting as THIS business insight…
For the first time in three years, we exhibited at the international show. And as usual, Naomi was significantly better than the rest of us at engaging with people on the show floor. No surprise there.
The surprising insight came Wednesday evening on Bourbon Street, after two full days of exhibiting.
Yes, I know, Bourbon Street is NOT the proper place to go looking for Inspiration…
But there we were, enjoying a delightful dinner at Red Fish Grill on Bourbon Street with clients, friends and the Stetson brothers from “Pour a Lid.”
The Pour a Lid brothers had a 10 x 10 booth, just like us. So I was curious how they were doing with the floor traffic, compared to us. (In our case, we had several “extra helpers” in the booth. I trained them personally before the show on “How to Work the Booth” – because that’s what I do.)
One of the fundamental rules of trade show / home show operation is “Don’t ever let anyone get past the booth without engaging with them.“
Unfortunately, I frequently saw potential prospects slipping by our booth, because we were either distracted, or lazy, or not paying attention, or just not trying hard enough. (Except for Naomi, of course. Naomi still always crushes it.)
Now I am proud to point out that we were blowing away all the other booths around us. At the end of day #2, we had 50 leads, and the booth next to us had eight. So I was feeling pretty good when I asked the Pour a Lid guys how many leads they got.
“We have about 100 leads so far.”
Crap! We were both at the same show, with the same size booth, and the same traffic on the show floor. (And they actually had fewer people working their booth.) Yet they got TWICE as many leads as we did, in the same amount of time.
And there was my insight.
We could complain that “There weren’t enough good people at the show.” But the truth is there were PLENTY of good prospects at the show.
We simply didn’t tackle the challenge with the enthusiasm and tenacity required to get the best results.
If we had been on top of our game, and engaged with every person who walked by, we surely would have had 100 leads as well.
Here’s what that insight has to do with you…
Discussing this concept with another client, we came to realize that my crushing humiliation next to the Stetson Brothers is indicative of the overall pool industry market in 2019.
Just like the tradeshow, there are plenty of leads out there.
We just have to bring the tenacity and enthusiasm to go get them.
So whatever it is you’re relying on right now – Referrals, website, PPC, SEO, sales skills, reputation, videos, awards, auto-follow-up, etc. – If you want better results in 2019 and beyond, you probably need to “step up your game” a little.
Don’t be like me at the IPSPE show, and get only HALF of what you could have gotten.