Trade Show TalesBlog

Word on the Street — January 11th thru January 15th

January 17th, 2010 COMMENTS
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

A Lasting Impression

Ever leave a meeting or sales presentation and wonder if what you said “stuck”? Better yet, after giving a presentation, have you ever discovered that your client went in another direction? Worse, the direction they chose was something you could have handled as well. Wonder why?

It happens to all of us. For me, it makes me look back at what I did not convey properly in my presentation to that person or group. So I wonder . . . what are the keys to making a lasting impression?

1. Emotion

Experts will tell you, the stronger the emotion, the stronger the impression. Sometimes the biggest error we make is to get “too comfortable” with our service and product offerings. We assume that the folks we’re talking to have the same understanding of how “great” our products or services are, that they see the features and benefits, and finally, that they are just as passionate about these unique advantages as we are. This can easily happen if you are not careful, especially if you are giving the same presentation over and over.

Once we turn eighteen, the word “Cheerleader” doesn’t have the same impact. That’s too bad because all companies need cheerleaders who are passionate about their products and services. We remember cheerleaders. In our hearts, we all want that same passion and commitment. Steve Jobs at Apple is a great example of that unabashed “cheering” of the company’s products and culture. Wrong or right, we all want to hear what he has to say because we know he believes and he cares.  

2. Use Images

People’s memories are triggered more through the use of effective images than through words. Think about it, it’s the key to making a good commercial or ad right? Well, the same applies to presentations for a live audience. The images you choose are critical. Using images that are too simple or plain will not only be ineffective, but can also actually turn off the crowd. For example, if presenting Aero Overhead Hanging Signs, I would show the jobs that highlight the most creative and custom shapes. Showing the standard shapes and sizes would be less effective. I’ve learned over time that there is a natural assumption made by the audience that you can do the standard stuff, when you WOW them with the truly custom stuff.

3. Differentiate Yourself and Your Product or Service

When there are several other companies that make or sell similar products, you need to emphasize what makes you truly “different.” Differentiation can be in service and capabilities. For example, look at Nordstrom. They sell many of the same brands as the other stores, but their service is unmatched. You know when you buy something from Nordstrom that you are going to receive the best customer service at the time of the purchase — AND, should you ever have to return the product, you know you will get a “no questions asked” approach when you walk back into the store

From a product standpoint, capabilities are the key! For example, for over 10 years, the Quadro S has been a leader in Pop-up Systems. The reason is simple — it’s the only system of its kind that can hold up to 200 lbs on any internal shelf on the straight frame. It can hold multiple flat screen LCD’s within one unit, and it is the only pop up that can double as a full video presentation wall with 9 large LCD’s inset into a straight frame.

What are some methods that you use to help leave a lasting impression on your clients?

Please share your comments via the blog comment section and have a safe and restful weekend!

–Kevin Carty


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