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You only have 1 chance to make a first impression...and at a tradeshow you may have less than 5 seconds to engage someone as they walk by. One of the best ways to engage is to ask a question.

Ask Qualifying Questions (sample questions—don’t ask all of them)

  • are you looking for specific solutions or shopping for ideas?
  • what solutions are you specifically looking for at the show?
  • what problem are you trying to solve?
  • is this a priority/what makes this a priority?
  • what does your organization do?
  • where are your headquarters?
  • how many employees do you have?
  • who are your customers? (consumer, business-to-business)
  • what is your area of responsibility within the organization? (title/area of responsibility)
  • what is your familiarity with us?
  • what is your current focus (business initiatives/issues) within the organization?
  • who or what is driving the focus or initiative?
  • what is the level of support within the organization for this initiative/focus?
  • what sort of initiatives have you implemented in the past?
  • what was the outcome/success of that initiative?
  • how have your initiatives aligned with your mission/vision?
  • what does your organization have to do to remain competitive in the future?
  • who else in the organization may be helpful in achieving these objectives?

Note: Remember, the objective is to identify needs and problems versus applying a solution to a situation. Use as many open ended questions and clarifying questions as possible

Have an easy to understand positioning statement about your organization—one or two sentences


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