5 Lessons I Learned on Booth Duty at MarTech 2015

3 minute read

Upland Admin

I’m just back from MarTech 2015, and while I was able to catch a few great sessions, I spent the majority of each day at the booth telling people about our product.

Kapost PR Whiz, Dan Schacter

As a writer for Kapost, I dedicate my energy to creating content about how companies can improve their marketing efforts. And, while I inform the messaging our sales team uses, I spend very little of my time actually talking to prospects.

At our MarTech booth however, I had to put my sales hat on. And I learned a lot by doing it. Here are five key takeaways this marketer learned on booth duty.

1. Ask Questions

When you have someone’s attention, it’s tempting to launch right into a demo of your product. Especially when, like me, you know your product really well, and are extremely enthusiastic about it.

Resist that temptation.

Instead, ask questions to uncover the perspective of your booth visitor. Specifically, craft a preliminary question that gets at the heart of the problem your company solves.

Kapost helps B2B organizations manage the full lifecycle of their content operation, from ideation through optimization. So, my “hook” question was, “Does your company create content?” This not only set me up to say “Great! Well, Kapost can help you with that!” but it also helped me read whether or not Kapost was a good fit for the company.

2. Kill the Buzzwords

As I looked down the long expo aisle at MarTech, I couldn’t help but notice some of the same buzzwords popping up in booth banners. And while catchy phrases might be appropriate for banners to attract initial attention, they don’t do you any favors when you’re trying to sell your solution.

Booth visitors at MarTech wanted to know what Kapost actually did. So dropping, “We supercharge your marketing efforts!” would just result in blank stares. But when I led with, “Our solution manages the full lifecycle of your content, from ideation, planning, and execution through optimization and analysis,” people nodded and wanted to learn more.

3. Eat the Mints

They’re complimentary for a reason.

4. Be Empathetic

As Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Some booth visitors want a lot of detail about your product and company. They want the handouts. They want your business card. Others don’t. Use your intuition to decipher where the person you’re talking to is coming from, and tailor your discussion around what they’re most interested in.

The engineers I talked to weren’t interested in how I create, manage, and track blog posts inside Kapost, for example. But they were psyched to hear more about how we integrate with WordPress, Adobe, Salesforce, Hootsuite, and many other apps.

5. Brevity Is a Virtue  

Your booth is one of many that people want to visit in the quick moments between talks. Be sensitive to these short time slots. Also, you don’t want to spend all of your time talking to one person, while ignoring others that may want to speak with you. Keep your conversations short, and offer to follow up with more details if necessary.

Got any other booth tips? I’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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