Figuring she would have little competition as a financial planner, Frances was clever enough to exhibit at the health expo. In fact, she was the only such representative among 200 vendors. The signage she displayed smartly tied into the health theme. Yet, at the weekend, despite over a thousand people who passed her table, Frances had only a handful of leads. If sales is a numbers game, she should have had a larger amount. What went wrong?

Mistake 1. Candy

First, Frances filled a bright red bucket with peppermint candies and offered them to each person who walked by. Although some of the people who attend a health expo consume sugar, many refrain. This giveaway didn’t attract prospects and may have even repelled them.

Mistake 2. Opening Question

Her bigger mistake, however, was being pushy and aggressive. Whether individuals looked in her direction or not, they were assaulted by the question. “Do you have a financial planner?” Even when she received an affirmative answer, Frances pursued it by inquiring, “Would you like to review your plan?” Hardly anyone accepted her proposal.

Mistake 3. No Variation

Throughout the event, Frances stuck to this method. She failed to take into consideration the personality styles of the consumers who frequent health fairs. Instead, she relied on her usual approach at trade shows. While being forward and direct works with certain personality types, it definitely was mismatched for these participants.

Solution: Matching Values

The target market that goes to health fairs tend to value relationships. To win them, Frances has to think how best to develop personal connections. When they purchase insurance and financial planning, it’s all about feeling like the agent is a trusted friend, a member of the “family.” They are especially sensitive to the idea of being treated as a business transaction.

No doubt that selling financial products challenges the best sales professionals. Yet those who learn to shift themselves to match their prospects outsell the average 57 to 1 (Word of Mouth Marketing Association). If Frances wants more success at the next trade show, she would be well advised to learn how to raise her AlikeAbility™.

Dr. Nancy Zare

A psychologist and retired professor, Dr. Nancy Zare has dedicated her life to helping people communicate more effectively. She earned her masters and doctorate from Boston College and is past president of the National Speakers Association of New England. She is the author of the books, Workplace Hostility, Myth and Reality, and Closing More Sales: Introduction to AlikeAbility™ as well as numerous articles.

From her experience in both business to business and business to consumer sales, Nancy founded Rapport Builderz in 2012. It provides training, coaching and consultation for selling professional services. She originated the AlikeAbility™ System to teach people how to read personality styles, build better relationships, and generate more business. Contract her for a complimentary review of your sales style.

Rapport Builderz Club

Understanding that many entrepreneurs and independent salespeople put off doing marketing activities consistently, Nancy now offers membership to Rapport Builderz Club. It provides daily coaching, structure, support, and accountability online, that is an affordable way to get daily coaching, keep on track and build success habits.