Pitch Perfect: Selling at a Trade Show

The trade show floor is a salesperson’s dream: prospective clients who are begging to be wowed. But while the bodies are warm, there’s still work to be done. A smart sales strategy and a good sales pitch are needed to separate your brand from your competitor’s. In this post, you’ll learn how to hone your skills so you can win over clients and beat out your trade show competition.

Practice makes perfect

Selling at a trade show is the ultimate test for a salesperson. While cold calls to uninterested and disgruntled prospects can be grueling, door-to-door sales isn’t much fun either, especially with the uptick in content marketing and lead nurturing campaigns.  But there’s still something unique about selling at a trade show that can’t be replicated. Your team has the opportunity to face off, head-to-head, with other salespeople in real-time. Trade shows are the super bowl of the sales world.

Related: Check out our best Trade Show App for ExhibitorsSo what’s the key to success?

Firstly, it’s not just one thing (nothing ever is). But it helps to make your pitch as simple as possible. One of the keys to sales simplification is preparation. Before an event, make sure you are an expert on whichever product or service you are going to be selling. Take time to visit with the product design team and ask them practical in-depth questions about the product or service. You should also become an expert on your competition’s products as well. This way you will be able to pick apart their limitations while highlighting how your product is a better fit.

Just Getting Started? Check out our guide on How to Plan for Trade Shows

Practice makes perfect is an adage we’ve all heard many times. But putting that saying into “practice,” takes practice. Read your sales script repeatedly until you have it memorized and can recite it perfectly.

Rejection vs. Objection

Salespeople deal with rejection on a daily basis; it’s just part of the job. But great salespeople are able to deal with rejection professionally, and the best salespeople understand the difference between a “rejection” and an “objection.”


The person who rejects your pitch will be very tough to sell to, to the point where it’s probably not worth it to continue engaging in a conversation with them. If you proceed to pitch them, you may make them angry to the point that they complain to your higher-ups, or write a bad review of your company. Knowing when to hang it up and move on is essential in sales, as wasted time is wasted opportunity.

Example: “No thank you, I am not in the market for your product, nor will I ever be in the market for your product.”

Your Response: “Thanks for speaking with me, have a great rest of your day. ”


This person is a “maybe”. With this person, you have a chance to sell. Often, if a person hesitates in response, rather than giving a stern negative response, chances are the prospect is on the fence, and that means you have an opportunity.

Overcoming objections is a skill every elite salesperson possesses, so make sure you keep yourself in the game and don’t mistake a “maybe” for a “no”.

Example: “Right now isn’t a great time for me, check back in a week or so,” or “Your pricing seems a little high. I don’t think I can spend that much right now.”

Your Response:  “I understand that this may not be the best time for you, but I can show you right now how our product can meet your needs,” or ” I understand your budget concerns, and we have a number of pricing options for you to explore. I just want to make sure you are getting the best deal possible, before this offer ends.”


Great sales people know that when it comes down to it, selling a product’s features is a great way to get prospects interested, but what makes a prospect buy more often than not is the value of a product. Value is not only measured in dollars and cents. There are other non-monetary values that can have just as much of an impact as the price tag.

Learn Financial Planning for Your Next Trade Show Event

Company value

Your sales pitch should present the value your product or service can offer an organization as a whole. Company value represents the benefits a product or service can offer a company at the organizational level such as “easy-to-use interface”, “development-friendly” , “time-saving” etc. By pitching these values, you are connecting to a company’s pain points and offering a unique solution that your company can provide.

Professional value

Career development is important to your prospects. If you can show them how your product or service can help them grow professionally, they will be more willing to listen to your pitch. Professional value can be demonstrated with testimonials of other professionals who share the prospects job title, or by illustrating how your product will help their department excel, and by extension, how they will benefit as an individual.

Identity value

Prospects are keenly aware of their company’s identity in the marketplace and will make their purchasing decisions based on products that align with their brand’s identity. Before jumping into a sales pitch, ask a prospect how their company views itself and how their customers view them as well. Take the answers they give you and rework your sales pitch to highlight how your product or service can help them enhance or maintain their identity.