Helpful Hints for Effective Boothmanship
Introduction to Boothmanship
As representatives of mission agencies, we have a tremendous story to tell to conference participants. We offer individuals an opportunity to be part of what God is doing in our ministry. However, our product is complex; there are many parts — just as there are many parts of the body. Each person is unique and likely has talents that will fit with at least one opportunity within our organization.
Let's explore what our goals are for this conference. The primary goal is to make sure everyone who visits our booth has:
- An understanding of our commitment to the Kingdom
- An understanding of our commitment to them to help them find a ministry opportunity that fits their skills and God-given gifts
- An awareness of possibilities where they might serve
- A good knowledge of our vision
- Some understanding of the process to join our agency
- Information on what will happen next and who will follow up
Rules for Boothmanship
- Eating or drinking in the booth
- Clustering together
- Guarding the booth (with closed arms or back to aisle)
- Talking to other exhibitors during active times
- Disparaging other exhibitors
- Sitting down in the booth
- Being in the booth when it is not your shift
- Asking closed probes, e.g. "May I help you?"
- Introduce your organization and its vision
- Demonstrate enthusiasm for introducing visitors to your agency
- Qualify the prospect
- Clearly define opportunities
- Be flexible - this encounter is only exploratory at this point
- Explain the need (They do not know the needs they can address)
- Ask open probes, such as,
"How do you find the conference?"
"What is your current career?"
"Tell me something about the church you attend."
"How familiar are you with our organization?"
- Personally introduce them to a more appropriate person in your organization, if that is called for.
Use open-ended questions to get the prospect talking.
Discover where they are in their career and find out something about their journey.
Continue the discussion tailored to a visitor's level of interest.
Ending the Conversation
It is important not to spend too much time with one individual, as others may be waiting.
If engaged with a good prospect, spend the time necessary to satisfy his or her interests. Take down the name and address.
Do not look away or disengage immediately when you discover there is absolutely no fit. If you see there is no fit, be gracious, but look for a way to wind down. Thank him/her for stopping by and wish them an enjoyable conference.
Three Types of Visitors
- May initiate conversation
- Easiest to engage, but difficult to control
- Answer questions as briefly as possible
- Direct the conversation to find out their current interests
- Will gaze into booth
- Will enter hesitantly
- Reluctant to move close
- Smile, make them feel welcome
- Ask an open-ended non-personal question:
"What do you like about the conference?"
"What breakout sessions did you attend?"
- Get them talking
- Give a brief overview of your agency
- Wander the aisles with no obvious interest
- Make occasional eye contact
- Most difficult to engage
- More likely to respond to friendliness
- Ask any open-ended question; never use a closed probe