Recognising visitor types

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Visitors are diverse and attend shows for many different reasons. 97% of people purchase at a show so almost everyone buys something, but recognising visitor types can help ensure you don't waste time with people who are looking for a good old chin-wag about the weather.

Always be polite and courteous but balance this with the finite resources you have on your stand. Politely moving certain visitor types on ensures you see more people who are right for your business.

There are many types of visitors but below are some classics that should be easy to spot:

  • The Go-Getter: These visitors have a clear agenda of what they want to achieve, they are happy to be approached, and are keen to discuss their requirements knowing the information they obtain will help them make an informed purchasing decision.
  • The Reluctant Interviewee: These visitors don’t like being sold to. They are wary of giving away too much about themselves for fear they are handing over control. These visitors require careful handling. They must not be pushed too hard for information, but gently encouraged to volunteer it.
  • The Introvert: Many people are introverted by nature and feel self-conscious stepping onto an exhibition stand. Introverts will often hover on the edge of a stand, reluctant to commit themselves to stepping in, but when engaged in conversation will be happy to discuss their needs. The staff member will, however, need to be careful not to scare the visitor away with their initial approach.
  • The Time-Waster: Time-wasters are more than willing to discuss just about anything – in slow, drawn-out detail. Unfortunately, they usually have no authority to buy and no money to spend. It is a good idea to pre-arrange with other staff members some methods of extracting yourselves, or each other, from the clutches of such visitors – politely!
  • The Free-Loader: These visitors are more interested in your free giveaways than your displays and take up valuable space that may be required for serious business discussions. You should have a firm policy on how to handle such visitors.
  • The Old Friend: Exhibitions are great places for bumping into old friends and acquaintances. As a result, precious sales time that should be spent forging and developing new business is all too easily frittered away catching up on old times. Socialising should be saved for the evenings.