Chris Merrington: Choosing your words

Chris Merrington
Words-stock.jpg

Chris Merrington, conference speaker and author, on telling your audience what they need to know, not everything you know.

 

Charles Dickens must have attended a few events in his day. In his novel A Tale of Two Cities, he wrote: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness...”

 

I think sometimes that this can apply to events. Do events always live up to their ‘great expectations’?

 

Events are expensive and time consuming for everyone involved; for the organisers and for the attendees. It is my belief that often more thought needs to go into the planning and preparation of an event to ensure it provides great ROI for both the organisers and also for the attendees.

 

If the objective is to sell at an event then let’s track sales after the event and measure what ROI we’ve achieved. We then need to think about what needs to happen to improve the ROI the following year. How can we sell even more effectively the following year?

 

Working at an event or exhibition as a sales person isn’t a bit of a holiday or a jolly – you’re there to meet new and existing customers. You’re there to sell and help customers to buy. It’s not an opportunity to check your emails or worse, your Facebook or play Candy Crush. You’re here to work. Take time to craft your opening line to entice a prospective customer to engage with you.

 

I speak at events and conferences and also work with sales teams to help them sell and negotiate more effectively and more profitably. There are some wonderful techniques to help sales teams be more effective and increase their sales revenue.

 

I have spoken at numerous conferences, events and seminars in the UK, Europe and the USA and so I wanted to share the mistakes I’ve seen.

Here are a couple of common mistakes I have come across made by event and conference organisers:

 

Lack of clarity or purpose

 

Given the investment required for most events, it is critical to be clear on why we are holding it in the first place and what you want to happen afterwards.

 

Is it for the sales team to improve their selling technique or senior management to share the future direction of their business or to provide and share new information? Or is it to motivate an audience and give them a renewed vigour?

 

Decide what the goal(s) should be. What changes in behaviour by the audience do you want as a result of the event? What actions do you want them to take? How will you know if the event has been a success?

 

Poor slides, overuse of Powerpoint

 

If you are going to use Powerpoint then make sure the speakers have great slides and not too many slides.

 

Poor lighting or inadequate power in the projector can ruin even good slides. Ideally don’t use slides, speak from the heart to really engage your audience.

 

Monologue or dialogue

 

When speakers and sales people speak at their audience or prospective customers, they are more likely to switch off. I believe in not presenting but having a conversation, a two- way conversation. This is far more engaging and authentic. A monologue leaves the listener feeling like they’re being lectured.

 

The complete works of Shakespeare in 48 minutes.

 

Tell your audience, your customer, your prospect what they need to know, not everything you know. Trying to cover too much is a common problem. Einstein said: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

 

Chris Merrington speaks at conferences and runs Masterclasses on Negotiation, Pricing and Trusted Adviser Selling, and is the author of Why Do Smart People Make Such Stupid Mistakes? — a practical negotiation guide to more profitable client relationships.

Chris Merrington
Posted by Chris Merrington
PopularComments
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World, the sister magazine of Exhibition News, has launched the inaugural Global Exhibitions Day Awards, celebrating the diverse creative initiatives occurring globally around 7 June.

Movers & Shakers 26/04/17

People moves at Blitz|GES, Gallowglass, Mojo Barriers and more.

Multiplay launches event hardware rental arm  

Mutiplay, organiser of events such as MineCon, Insomnia and BRICKLIVE, has announced the launch of Multiplay Rentals, its new event hardware rental arm.

Others on EN

Apps – what are they good for?

Apps – what are they good for?

Exhibition apps are about as useful as a chocolate teapot, says Reftech’s Simon Clayton.
Fit for the 21st century

Fit for the 21st century

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director, says we should always fight to bring talent into the industry and encourage an appetite for success.
I'm a believer

I'm a believer

Sam Cande, group commercial director at Centaur Media, says no secret sales technique can compete with belief in a product.

CONFEX 2017 LIVE

Most Read Stories

Fit for the 21st century

Fit for the 21st century

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director, says we should always fight to bring talent into the industry and encourage an appetite for success.
I'm a believer

I'm a believer

Sam Cande, group commercial director at Centaur Media, says no secret sales technique can compete with belief in a product.
Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry, director of Easyfairs UK addresses the science behind operations and the profile of our audiences.

Latest News

IGNITION to return to the SEC

IGNITION to return to the SEC

Following a successful inaugural event in 2016, IGNITION Festival of Motoring will be returning to the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) on 4-6 August.
Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World, the sister magazine of Exhibition News, has launched the inaugural Global Exhibitions Day Awards, celebrating the diverse creative initiatives occurring globally around 7 June.
Future In 15 episode 3: ExCel London's James Rees on co-operation and using space

Future In 15 episode 3: ExCel London's James Rees on co-operation and using space

In Episode Three of Future In 15, James Rees, director of conferences & events at ExCel London, shares how the venue repurposed under-utilised space to create CentrEd.

Latest Features

Alt Venues: Stamford Bridge

Alt Venues: Stamford Bridge

In our monthly Alternative Venues feature, EN pays a visit to Stamford Bridge.
Breaking barriers

Breaking barriers

The London Muslim Lifestyle Show is bringing Muslim businesses to the world stage, despite the occasional far-right protest.
My Working Life by David Chalmers

My Working Life by David Chalmers

The senior marketing director, Europe, at Cvent discusses how he got into the industry, his inspirational children and why he’s called The Doctor.

Latest Galleries

A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

Some of the industry’s leading event organisers were treated to an exclusive preview of Somerset House’s largest and most versatile indoor event space at an open house event on 19-20 April.
EN Awards 2017

EN Awards 2017

The best of the exhibition industry were out in force on 30 March at ExCeL London for the 11th annual EN Awards.
Natural & Organic Products Europe 2017

Natural & Organic Products Europe 2017

The 2017 Natural & Organic Products Europe celebrated its 21st edition earlier this month (2-3 April) as well as attracting its biggest attendance yet to ExCeL London.