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How to Be Successful at Health & Wellness Expos

What is it about fitness professionals and their lack of sales and marketing skills?

Case in point: I just returned¬†from the National Strength & Conditioning Association expo. Although the booths, displays and content was fantastic, the actual sales and marketing skills were sadly subpar. Unless an attendee actually stopped at a vendor’s booth and specifically asked a question, they were allowed to pass by undisturbed. The first time I attended the expo, I literally cruised the entire room in 5 minutes flat.

In contrast, while in Las Vegas, I simultaneously attended the Freedom Fest, a gathering of completely different folk, devoted to finances, marketing, business, capitalism and economy. It took me nearly 30 minutes to traverse just a single aisle of this show! With each step, I was greeted on either side by vendors eager to show me the benefit of their product. They literally stepped in front of me, made eye contact, and asked as simple question, such as “Where are you from?” or “What do you do?”. Notice that these are open-ended questions and they take advantage of the fact that most people like to talk about themselves.

We can learn an important lesson from this comparison. If you represent your personal training studio, nutrition business, or gym at a health and fitness expo, try to follow these three simple rules:

1. Don’t sit behind your table. Stand in front of it, and interrupt the flow of traffic that passes by your booth. Hold your information, brochures or business cards in your left hand, and keep your right hand free to shake hands.

2. Make eye contact. One of the best ways to traverse quickly through an expo is to avoid eye contact with each of the vendors. People will try to do this to you. As a vendor, find a way to catch their attention. Ask questions, smile, and find the eyes.

3. Be vocal. Nobody will stop if you stand in front of your table and merely look them in the eyes. You must have audible content! Do not choose common phrases like “How’s it going?”, “Hi” or “Would you like a free sample?” These are close-ended statements. Instead, try the following, “Where did you get that shirt/blouse/tie?”, “So what brings you to the expo today?”, or “What do you do for a living?”.

Don’t feel bad about interrupting people’s path. For crying out loud, they came to the expo, and they should expect to be accosted. You put in the hard work to have a booth and be a vendor. Make it count!

Click to get Personal Trainers' Guide to Earning Top Dollar Book