Why Good Conversation Delivers ROI

The art of making good conversation has been studied for centuries. And while everyone seems to have their own twist, there is clearly some agreement around the makings of a master conversationalist.

ROIAccording to common wisdom, those with good conversation skills show interest and curiosity in their counterparts. They ensure balance and give and take, and have something interesting to say. Finally, they demonstrate knowledge without proselytizing or being too pedantic.

So much of successful networking comes down to mastering good conversation skills. And yet, one of the biggest mistakes we witness at networking events such as trade shows is that people seem to break all the rules of good conversation.

Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, maximizing your investment in trade shows and in-person events with a finely tuned networking strategy is worth the effort. Here are our tips for ensuring that good conversation translates to good ROI.

The value of a good question

Trade shows represent a large investment of time and resources. As a result, the pressure to ensure ROI can feel overwhelming. Sadly, it can also manifest into a bad strategy.

At MEET, 75 years of experience in trade shows and in-person events have taught us that it’s not what you say as much as what you learn at events that allows you to connect and build relationships.

It’s not what you say but what you learn that drives customer relationships.

Having a list of good, thoughtful questions to ask those you hope to meet at an event is an important place to start. Simple ones like:

  • Tell me about your company?
  • What’s your role?
  • What are the biggest challenges you’re facing?
  • What are you hoping to accomplish at this event?
  • Are there certain people that you’re hoping to meet?

Answers to these questions will help you build relationships with potential prospects and make resource referrals for existing customers. Asking these questions will also help to ensure that you are practicing good conversation skills and strengthening your networking capacity.

For more on the value of matchmaking at trade shows, check out this post.

Moving toward the center of the room

Similar to those high school dances we’d all care to forget, you don’t want to find yourself along the periphery of an event if your goal is to make good connections.

Again, whether you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert, it’s important to recognize that quality connections are made when we push ourselves to engage with folks in the center of the room in tangible ways.

Understanding the need for this level of investment in relationship building requires a staffing strategy that empowers your salespeople to leave the booth and flex their talents. Ensuring they are equipped with good conversation skills will help to guarantee their results and maximize ROI.

Setting goals to conserve your resources

All businesses and most households start the year with a budget. Budgets tell you how to manage your effort and what resources you need to apply. Goal-setting your trade show strategy acts in a very similar way. It helps you manage your effort, and know when you’ve achieved what you set out to achieve.

Setting clear goals helps you measure ROI

There are many occasions when, one to two hours after finishing up an event, we see people chatting away, trying to make connections. While in some instances these conversations are productive, in most situations these individuals are simply having a hard time knowing when they’re done.

ROIPeople have a hard time leaving an event if they fear they’re leaving money on the table.

The more work you do to prepare for an event by setting measurable outcomes, the better you will be at conserving your resources and applying them where they will deliver the greatest return.

For more on this topic of strategic engagement at trade shows, check out our recent webinar: How to Start Conversations and Identify Opportunities at Events. To check out all of MEET’s webinar content on how to successfully scale your company in the U.S. market, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.


MEET (meetroi.com) helps international B2B growth companies soft-land and scale in the U.S. through trade shows and in-person events. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp-up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward.  Contact Bill Kenney for a no obligation conversation: bill@meetroi.com or +1 (860) 573-4821.

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