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Exhibitions should showcase our best and brightest – so don’t forget the sales team.

Exhibitions should showcase our best and brightest – so don’t forget the sales team. September 20, 2017 by Paul Evans

With the Frankfurt Motor Show in full swing and drawing to a close in a few days, I can imagine there are some quite tired people there by now. Days of being on your toes and under hot lights can take its toll and leave you feeling jaded and hot under the collar. It prompted me to think of a major used car show I was recently at in a European capital city.

The budget was, I imagine, enormous and vast funds had been committed to renting the space in the exhibition hall, marketing and a very attractive consumer package to entice buyers away from some serious competition.

It was working well and the event sales target was well within reach with just under three days to go, but our client’s very professional team were sniffing an opportunity to smash a few barriers and have a big result.

Over lunch we talked about how it was going and how we could make some improvements on the run. It seemed that the sales team was simply not picking up on enough of the prospects that had been attracted to the stand by all that budget.

Our conclusion was that after three days of being inside a very warm hall (they are always overheated whatever the season and it was over 30C outside) the team was simply tired and jaded.  Who could blame them for that? The inevitable early excitement and anticipation had been eroded by the long hours and sterile atmosphere and, if we face the truth, a failure in sales management to maintain energy levels and motivation.

In the way of these occasions, we brainstormed a whole list of ideas that could and maybe, should, be used to be sure that the front- line troops are best motivated to keep up a high level of sales. They were:

  • Sales people are by nature competitive. 
    Be upfront with a Sales League featuring a useful prize and publish it widely at the end of every day. (PEP Automotive has a Sales League tool that can be licensed for your event).
  • Have a 20 minute sales meeting every morning. Sit everyone down and, if practical, provide refreshment. Use the meeting to praise, hand out spot prizes and wind up the team for the day.
  • Run a quick product knowledge quiz, featuring the slowest moving models. These are usually the most exclusive and sales people can run away from them as they are not confident enough to talk about features and benefits.
  • Create short term targets – throughout the day. Rather like stage wins in a cycling race to keep everyone focused on short term goals which will, of course, build to the big one.
  • Highlight specific models and put bonuses for them – for that day only.
  • Most manufacturers have sponsorship deals with celebrities and sports people. Get someone in for an hour during the event to talk to the team and be seen on your stand. It will motivate your people and upset the competition!
    There will be other ideas, of course, but above all you need to give constant thought to how your most valuable resource is led and motivated throughout your sales event.



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