Posted tagged ‘Exhibits’

Contextualizing Who We Are…

October 9, 2009

Recently, I returned from a trade show. While on the floor of the exhibit hall, I listened intently as people walked up to those staffing the booths and asked about their products. Many of those people did not bother to introduce themselves – rather they asked general questions with the intention to learn about the product being promoted.

Almost to a person, these people did not volunteer any information about themselves. On one level, I can get it. After all, who wants a salesperson calling you and disturbing your day?

Here’s the argument though for rethinking that position…

If you’re stopping by a booth, chances are there is a reason. You want to compare a product to something that you are using. You have a unique need or challenge or opportunity and you wish to see if the product can address it. Or you simply wish to discover if something is possible.

If you contextualize who you are, and by that I mean you paint the details of what your company does, who you are and the role that you play, why you are at the booth and what you hope to address or learn, you allow the salesperson to leverage their expertise and help you determine very quickly if your unique need can be met.

And you can still always decline to move forward with the conversation after you have learned more.

What this all comes down to is trust – and part of this is about trusting yourself to have a real meaningful conversation. If you are willing to share and discuss and engage, you open yourself to the possibility that the other person can help you. And you learn whether the solution fits or what is even possible.

We already know all that we know. It’s usually the other person’s knowledge that is the most useful.


%d bloggers like this: