We recently sat down with Debbie Langelier, Director of Exhibits & Sponsorships at National Training & Simulation Association (NTSA), to get her views on selling tactics that work effectively in the events industry. Debbie shared some excellent tips and insights for eventprofs.
Web Link: https://youtu.be/kQgORSQcHG8
On being a woman in a sales role
“Besides being a woman, I am a sales person first. So we can take the gender out of it but stop pretending you are not a woman. Be yourself.” stated Debbie. The message is clear. Salespeople, irrespective of their gender, need to be comfortable in their own skin. It works the other way around too. Often, during a first meeting with someone, we start by perceiving the gender and making assumptions, when we should be focusing on who they are as a professional.
Embracing your weird
As stressed by Debbie throughout the interview, this is important in this day and age. People want to know the real you when they meet you. And in this digital age, they can easily learn about the real you through social media. Obviously, you want to be careful with what you are sharing on public channels, but when communicating with a new prospect, grow the relationship by presenting yourself, not a fake “selling” version of you. When we embrace our weird, bring in our special flare and personality to our conversations, people really begin to relate to us. The one thing that never changes is that people do business with those they trust.
Key trait for hiring
On the topic of trust, the key hiring trait that Debbie emphasized is integrity. This trait plays a huge role in being oneself and embracing one’s weird. If one is honest with oneself and honest with others, a viable relationship can be built on a solid foundation. Gone are the days of the overconfident, egotistical salesperson who talks circles around a prospect with fancy sales/consulting words. People easily pick up on those “phony” words and immediately become closed off. Candidates appearing for an an interview should always keep this in mind as well, for even a whiff of phoniness may jeopardize their chances of getting hired.
The importance of data
This is a key swaying factor for exhibitors when purchasing space. “If we don’t have data to back up what we are selling,” Debbie states “It’s a non-starter in today’s industry.” Data has, and will always have, an important place in any sales professional’s arsenal. Be sure to collect accurate and relevant data for your events, analyze it carefully and use it as a selling tool to benefit your organization.
No matter who, what, where, or why you are in sales, “Be you, be your weirdness, find your weirdness that you can sell to,” Debbie Langelier.
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