The Making of Legends

I have written several books, on business, entertainment, history and pop culture. The Legends series is an amalgamation of all of them.

My four Legends books include “Pop Icons and Business Legends,” “The Classic Television Reference,” “Houston Legends” and “Non-Profit Legends.” This series will have three more to come.

Most people are more products of pop culture than they are of training. Business dilemmas, solutions and analyses are framed first in the field of reference (pop culture teachings of their youth) and then reframed in modern business context.

Working with companies, I have realized that presenting organizational strategies as an extension of previously-held pop-culture values gets more understanding, comprehension, attention and support.

Most leaders of today’s corporations grew up in the 1950s-1980s. I have conducted countless strategy meetings where leaders cannot articulate business philosophies, but they can accurately recite lyrics from “golden oldie” song hits, TV trivia and advertising jingles.

Being one of the rare senior business advisors who is equally versed in pop culture, I found that bridging known avenues with current realities resulted in fully articulated corporate visions. Many a Strategic Plan was written by piecing together song fragments, nostalgic remembrances and movie scenarios, then were aptly converted into contemporary corporate nomenclature.

When we recall the messages of the songs, movies and books of the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, we realize that today’s adults were formerly taught in their youths to:

  • Think Big Picture.
  • Conceptualize your own personal goals.
  • Understand conflicting societal goals.
  • Fit your dreams into the necessities and realities of the real world.
  • Find your own niche, do your thing.
  • Do something well and commit to long-term excellence.
  • Seek truths in unusual and unexpected sources.
  • Share your knowledge, and learn further by virtue of mentoring others.

How individuals and organizations start out and what they become are different concepts. Mistakes, niche orientation and lack of planning lead businesses to failure. Processes, trends, fads, perceived stresses and “the system” force adults to make compromises in order to proceed. Often, a fresh look at their previous knowledge gives renewed insight to today’s problems, opportunities and solutions.

I developed the concept of integrating Pop Culture Wisdom with management training and business planning over the last 40 years. It all started by teaching The History of Rock & Roll Music when I was in graduate school back in 1971. Fancy the concept of analyzing a recent time frame (the 1950s and 1960s) as social studies.

From 1958-1982, I produced many entertainment documentaries for radio, comprising anthologies of pop music. I emceed concerts with stars like Elvis Presley, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Little Richard, Kenny Rogers, The Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, Simon & Garfunkel, Nelson Riddle, Dionne Warwick and Andre Previn. I have produced videos with stars from Audrey Hepburn to Vincent Price, plus television public service announcements. That was another lifetime ago.

For the longest time, I didn’t let my business clients know about my years as a radio DJ, status as a musicologist and experiences in pioneering radio’s “golden oldie show” formats. I didn’t think that it lent credibility to wise business insights. However, years of experiences with corporate leaders made me come full circle and start integrating pop culture lingo into the conversations, consultations and planning processes.

All business leaders agreed that no road map was laid out for them. Executives amassed knowledge “in the streets,” through non-traditional sources. Few lessons made sense at the time and, thus, did not sink in. When repackaged years later, executives vigorously enjoyed the rediscovery process. The previously overlooked became sage wisdom. Knowledge they were not ready to receive as youngsters before became crystal clear in later times.

Reasons for Caring, Giving and Serving Others

I got into volunteering and community service at an early age. I found it heartening to be a good citizen and that community stewardship made me a better professional.

I have worked with more than 1,500 non-profit, public sector, and non-governmental entities over many decades. I interfaced with many on behalf of corporate clients. I conducted independent performance reviews of many. I served on boards of directors, search committees, awards panels, review boards and task forces for many. I have spoken at conferences, strategic planning retreats, symposia, workshops and board meetings for hundreds.

Non-profit organizations are the backbone of modern society. Every individual and business should support one or many. All of us are recipients of their services, community goodwill and worthwhile objectives.

There has never been a full-scope book on non-profit service. There have been books on fundraising and some articles on volunteer management and the business aspects of running non-profit organizations.

My “Non-Profit Legends” book covers everything non-profit, including such topics that have never appeared in an internationally published edition, such as:

  • Public service announcements.
  • Categories of non-profit organizations (my own creation).
  • The history of volunteering and community service, spanning 300 years. This parallels a chapter in my previous book, “Pop Icons and Business Legends,” where I covered a 400-year history of business.
  • Strategic planning, how-to instructions.
  • Pop culture influences of non-profit icons, events and campaigns.
  • Communications programs for NPOs.
  • Quotes on community stewardship, leadership and related topics.
  • Understanding your true service.

Here is what I wish to inspire via this book:

  • Motivate NPOs to be unique, true to purpose and make differences.
  • Encourage dialog on a Big Picture approach to non-profits.
  • Inspire new dimensions to corporate philanthropy.
  • Amplify discussions on community standards and ethics.
  • Encourage greater collaboration and partnerships.
  • Inspire a non-profit awards recognition program.
  • Inspire more non-profit presence on the internet.
  • Inspire more young people into community service.
  • Enlighten international audiences on Western world philanthropy tenets.

Here are the “heart and soul“ reasons for being engaged in humanitarian service:

  • Being good citizens
  • Volunteering, as time permits and worthy causes appear
  • Helping others
  • Business supporting communities
  • Non-profit organizations operating more business-like
  • Finding one’s passion
  • Working together with others
  • Exemplifying ethical behavior
  • Potlache: feeling happy and rewarded when serving others is appreciated
  • Sharing talents and skills
  • Innovating programs, strategies and methodologies
  • Recognizing and celebrating service
  • Honoring our elders
  • Involving young people in the lifelong quest toward community service
  • Diversity of society is reflected in service
  • Building communities
  • Interfacing with others
  • Learning from history
  • Enlightening others
  • Inspiring the next generation
  • Creating new constituencies
  • Re-involving those who have given, volunteered and participated in the past
  • Understanding the relationship of causes to quality of life
  • It’s good for business
  • It’s the right thing to do
  • Community events are fun and entertaining
  • Knowledge is transferable from community service to family and business
  • Injects heart and soul into yourself and your stakeholders
  • Leaders exemplify legendary behavior
  • Serving the under-served
  • Predicting new community needs
  • Benefiting humanity
  • Fostering respect
  • Communicating and developing people skills
  • Being productive and fulfilled
  • Planning for future programs and community service
  • Accountability of non-profit organizations and their programs
  • Learning from failure and success
  • Putting ourselves in others’ shoes
  • Visioning the future of communities and the population
  • Feeding, clothing, sheltering, educating and inspiring the needy
  • Sharing the wealth
  • Advocating for others
  • Learning more about life
  • Understanding conditions and circumstances
  • Discovering new frontiers, with opportunities to master
  • Networking, beneficial for all concerned
  • Growing as human beings
  • Growing as a society
  • Having fun while serving
  • Humanity as the basis for global peace and understanding

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

Value-Added Leadership

Every company has stakeholders, though a few with their own proprietary interests chart the course in their own vision, or lack thereof.

Within every corporate and organizational structure, there is a stair-step ladder. One enters the ladder at some level and is considered valuable for the category of services for which they have expertise. This ladder holds true for managers and employees within the organization, as well as outside consultants brought in.

Each rung on the ladder is important. At whatever level one enters the ladder, he-she is trained, measured for performance and fits into the organization’s overall Big Picture. One rarely advances more than one rung on the ladder during the course of service to the organization in question:

  1. Resource. Equipment, tools, materials, schedules.
  2. Skills and Tasks. Duties, activities, tasks, behaviors, attitudes, contracting, project fulfillment.
  3. Role and Job. Assignments, responsibilities, functions, relationships, follow-through, accountability.
  4. Systems and Processes. Structure, hiring, control, work design, supervision, decisions.
  5. Strategy. Planning, tactics, organizational development.
  6. Culture and Mission. Values, customs, beliefs, goals, objectives, benchmarking.
  7. Philosophy. Organizational purpose, vision, quality of life, ethics, long-term growth.

Value-added leadership is a healthy way of life that puts collaborations first. When all succeed, then profitability is much higher and more sustained than under the Hard Nose management style. Value-added leadership requires a senior team commitment. Managers and employees begin seeing themselves as leaders and grow steadily into those roles.

The ideal company could hopefully make the following answers to questions posed above, per categories on The Business Tree™, including:

  1. The business you’re in. You’re in the best business-industry, produce a good product-service and always lead the pack. Customers get what they cannot really get elsewhere.
  2. Running the business. The size of your company is necessary to do the job demanded. Operations are sound, professional and productive. Demonstrated integrity and dependability assure customers and stakeholders that you will use your size and influence rightly. You employ state-of-the-art technology and are in the vanguard of your industry.
  3. Financial. Keeping the cash register ringing is not the only reason for being in business. You always give customers their money’s worth. Your charges are fair and reasonable. Business is run economically and efficiently, with excellent accounting procedures, payables-receivables practices and cash management.
  4. People. Your company is people-friendly. Executives possess good people skills. Staff is empowered, likeable and competent. Employees demonstrate initiative and use their best judgment, with authority to make the decisions they should make. You provide a good place to work. You offer a promising career and future for people with ideas and talent. Your people do a good day’s work for a day’s pay.
  5. Business Development. Always research and serve the marketplace. Customer service is efficient and excellent, by your standards and by the publics. You are sensitive to customers’ needs and are flexible and human in meeting them.
  6. Body of Knowledge. There is a sound understanding of the relationship of each business function to the other. You maintain a well-earned reputation and are awake to company obligations. You contribute much to the economy. You provide leadership for progress, rather than following along. You develop-champion the tools to change.
  7. The Big Picture. Approach business as a Body of Work, a lifetime track record of accomplishments. You have and regularly update-benchmark a strategy for the future, shared company Vision, ethics, Big Picture thinking and “walk the talk.”

Value-added leadership embraces these characteristics:

  • Prepare for and benefit from unexpected turns, rather than becoming victim of them.
  • Realize that there are no quick fixes for real problems.
  • Find a truthful blend of perception and reality…with sturdy emphasis upon substance.
  • Continue growing as professionals, questing for more enlightenment.
  • Have succeeded and failed…and learned valuable lessons from both.
  • Learn and do the things it will take to assume management responsibility.
  • Be mentored by others. Act as a mentor to still others.
  • Don’t expect status overnight.
  • Measure their output and expect to be measured as a profit center to the company.
  • Learn to pace and be in the chosen career for the long-run.
  • Don’t expect that someone else will be the rescuer or cut corners in the path to success.
  • Learn from failures, reframing them as opportunities.
  • Learn to expect, predict, understand and relish success.
  • Behave as a gracious winner.
  • Acquire visionary perception.
  • Study and utilize marketing and business development techniques.
  • Contribute to the bottom line… directly and indirectly.
  • Offer value-added service.
  • Never stop paying dues… and see this continuum as “continuous quality improvement.”
  • Study and comprehend the subtleties of life.
  • Never stop learning, growing and doing. In short, never stop!

Key Messages to Recall and Apply Toward Your Business:

  • Understand the Big Picture.
  • Benefit from Change.
  • Avoid False Idols and Facades.
  • Remediate the High Costs of Band-Aid Surgery.
  • Learning Organizations Are More Successful.
  • Plan and Benchmark.
  • Craft and Sustain the Vision.

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

The Big Picture of Business – Corporate Cultures Reflect Business Progress and Growth.

Organizations should coordinate management skills into its overall corporate strategy, in order to satisfy customer needs profitably, draw together the components for practical strategies and implement strategic requirements to impact the business. This is my review of how management styles have evolved.

In the period that predated scientific management, the Captain of Industry style prevailed. Prior to 1885, the kings of industry were rulers, as had been land barons of earlier years. Policies were dictated, and people complied. Some captains were notoriously ruthless. Others like Rockefeller, Carnegie and Ford channeled their wealth and power into giving back to the communities. It was an era of self-made millionaires and the people who toiled in their mills.

From 1885-1910, the labor movement gathered steam. Negotiations and collective bargaining focused on conditions for workers and physical plant environments. In this era, business fully segued from an agricultural-based economy to an industrial-based reality.

As a reaction to industrial reforms and the strength of unions, a Hard Nosed style of leadership was prominent from 1910-1939, management’s attempt to take stronger hands, recapture some of the Captain of Industry style and build solidity into an economy plagued by the Depression. This is an important phase to remember because it is the mindset of addictive organizations.

The Human Relations style of management flourished from 1940-1964. Under it, people were managed. Processes were managed as collections of people. Employees began having greater says in the execution of policies. Yet, the rank and file employees at this point were not involved in creating policies, least of all strategies and methodologies.

Management by Objectives came into vogue in 1965 and was the prevailing leadership style until 1990. In this era, business started embracing formal planning. Other important components of business (training, marketing, research, team building and productivity) were all accomplished according to goals, objectives and tactics.

Most corporate leaders are two management styles behind. Those who matured in the era of the Human Relations style of management were still clinging to value systems of Hard Nosed. They were not just “old school.” They went to the school that was torn down to build the old school.

Executives who were educated in the Management by Objectives era were still recalling value systems of their parents’ generation before it. Baby boomers with a Depression-era frugality and value of tight resources are more likely to take a bean counter-focused approach to business. That’s my concern that financial-only focus without regard to other corporate dynamics bespeaks of hostile takeovers, ill-advised rollups and corporate raider activity in search of acquiring existing books of business.

To follow through the premise, younger executives who were educated and came of age during the early years of Customer Focused Management had still not comprehended and embraced its tenets. As a result, the bust and subsequent financial scandals occurred. In a nutshell, the “new school” of managers did not think that corporate protocols and strategies related to them. The game was to just write the rules as they rolled along. Such thinking always invites disaster, as so many of their stockholders found out. Given that various management eras are still reflected in the new order of business, we must learn from each and move forward.

In 1991, Customer Focused Management became the standard. In a highly competitive business environment, every dynamic of a successful organization must be geared toward ultimate customers. Customer focused management goes far beyond just smiling, answering queries and communicating with buyers. It transcends service and quality. Every organization has customers, clients, stakeholders, financiers, volunteers, supporters or other categories of ‘affected constituencies.’

Companies must change their focus from products and processes to the values shared with customers. Everyone with whom you conduct business is a customer or referral source of someone else. The service that we get from some people, we pass along to others. Customer service is a continuum of human behaviors, shared with those whom we meet.

Customers are the lifeblood of every business. Employees depend upon customers for their paychecks. Yet, you wouldn’t know the correlation when poor customer service is rendered. Employees of many companies behave as though customers are a bother, do not heed their concerns and do not take suggestions for improvement.

There is no business that cannot undergo some improvement in its customer orientation. Being the recipient of bad service elsewhere must inspire us to do better for our own customers. The more that one sees poor customer service and customer neglect in other companies, we must avoid the pitfalls and traps in our own companies.

If problems are handled only through form letters, subordinates or call centers, then management is the real cause of the problem. Customer focused management begins and ends at top management. Management should speak personally with customers, to set a good example for employees. If management is complacent or non-participatory, then it will be reflected by behavior and actions of the employees.

Any company can benefit from having an advisory board, which is an objective and insightful source of sensitivity toward customer needs, interests and concerns. The successful business must put the customer into a co-destiny relationship. Customers want to build relationships, and it is the obligation of the business to prove that it is worthy.

Customer focused management is the antithesis to the traits of bad business, such as the failure to deliver what was promised, bait and switch advertising and a failure to handle mistakes and complaints in a timely, equitable and customer-friendly manner. Customer focused management is dedicated to providing members with an opportunity to identify, document and establish best practices through benchmarking to increase value, efficiencies and profits.

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

The Big Picture of Business – The Future Has Moved… and Left No Forwarding Address.

Futurism is one of the most misunderstood concepts. It is not about gazing into crystal balls or reading tea leaves. It is not about vendor ‘solutions’ that quickly apply band-aid surgery toward organizational symptoms. Futurism is not an academic exercise that borders on the esoteric or gets stuck in the realm of hypothesis.

Futurism is an all-encompassing concept that must look at all aspects of the organization… first at the Big Picture and then at the pieces as they relate to the whole. One plans for business success through careful strategy.

Futurism is a connected series of strategies, methodologies and actions which will poise any organization to weather the forces of change. It is an ongoing process of evaluation, planning, tactical actions and benchmarking accomplishments. Futurism is a continuum of thinking and reasoning skills, judicious activities, shared leadership and an accent upon ethics and quality.

Quotes on The Future

  • “The future ain’t what it used to be.” Yogi Berra
  • “The future is not a gift. It is an achievement.” Robert F. Kennedy
  • “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough. The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Albert Einstein
  • “Tomorrow is another day.” Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind
  • “The future will one day be the present and will seem as unimportant as the present does now.” W. Somerset Maugham
  • “You ain’t heard nothing yet, folks.” Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer (1927)
  • “I like the dreams of the future better that the history of the past.” Thomas Jefferson
  • “The fellow who can only see a week ahead is always the popular fellow, for he is looking with the crowd. But the one that can see years ahead, he has a telescope but he can’t make anybody believe that he has it.” Will Rogers
  • “The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Arthur C. Clarke, Technology and the Future
  • “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Alan Kay
  • “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” Abraham Lincoln
  • “There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” Graham Greene
  • “Upper classes are a nation’s past; the middle class is its future.” Ayn Rand
  • “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.” Winston Churchill
  • “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X””
  • “All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse.” Benjamin Franklin
  • “It is because modern education is so seldom inspired by a great hope that it so seldom achieves great results. The wish to preserve the past rather that the hope of creating the future dominates the minds of those who control the teaching of the young.” Bertrand Russell
  • “Many people think that if they were only in some other place, or had some other job, they would be happy. Well, that is doubtful. So get as much happiness out of what you are doing as you can and don’t put off being happy until some future date.” Dale Carnegie
  • “Look not mournfully into the Past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the Present. In is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy Future, without fear, and a manly heart.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Futurism, The Future

I offer nine of my own definitions for the process of capturing and building a shared Vision for organizations to chart their next 10+ years. Each one gets progressively more sophisticated:

  1. Futurism: what you will do and become… rather than what it is to be. What you can and are committed to accomplishing…rather than what mysteriously lies ahead.
  2. Futurism: leaders and organizations taking personal responsibility and accountability for what happens. Abdicating to someone or something else does not constitute Futurism and, in fact, sets the organization backward.
  3. Futurism: learns from and benefits from the past… a powerful teaching tool. Yesterdayism means giving new definitions to old ideas…giving new meanings to familiar premises. One must understand events, cycles, trends and subtle nuances because they will recur.
  4. Futurism: seeing clearly your perspectives and those of others. Capitalizing upon change, rather than becoming a by-product of it. Recognizing what change is and what it can do for your organization.
  5. Futurism: an ongoing quest toward wisdom. Commitments to learning, which creates knowledge, which inspire insights, which culminate in wisdom. It is more than just being taught or informed.
  6. Futurism: ideas that inspire, manage and benchmark change. The ingredients may include such sophisticated business concepts as change management, crisis management and preparedness, streamlining operations, empowerment of people, marketplace development, organizational evolution and vision.
  7. Futurism: developing thinking and reasoning skills, rather than dwelling just upon techniques and processes. The following concepts do not constitute Futurism by themselves: sales, technology, re-engineering, marketing, research, training, operations, administration. They are pieces of a much larger mosaic and should be seen as such. Futurism embodies thought processes that create and energize the mosaic.
  8. Futurism: watching other people changing and capitalizing upon it. Understanding from where we came, in order to posture where we are headed. Creating organizational vision, which sets the stage for all activities, processes, accomplishments and goals. Efforts must be realistic, and all must be held accountable.
  9. Futurism: the foresight to develop hindsight that creates insight into the future.

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

The Big Picture of Business – How to Maximize Trade Show Exposure

The number of companies participating in trade shows increases each year. While sales objectives are most common, trade shows may also be behavior, product, distribution or marketing oriented. Booth exhibitions at trade shows are viable and cost-effective sales tools to:

  • Achieve new customers, in order to grow and increase profits.
  • Introduce new products. Most of the visitors come to see what’s new.
  • Target a select group of visitors.
  • Allow your staff to interface with the public.
  • Perform informal market research.
  • Educate the public about what your company and your industry do.
  • Enhance your company’s image.
  • Assess competition and the overall business climate.

Trade shows generate sales leads at a lower cost per contact than a typical sales call. Research shows that industrial sales calls costing $252 to reach a prospect, with 4.6 follow-up calls necessary to book an order = $1,158. At a trade show, you might spend $133 to reach a prospect, with .8 follow-up calls necessary to book an order = $334.

Exhibits can be designed to appeal to all the senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. Research shows that 75% of what show visitors recall after expos is what company representatives told them.

Exhibiting in business-to-business shows requires different skills and approaches. The objective should be qualifying prospects, rather than selling. One meets more business prospects in a faster period of time at a trade show. Today’s customers are becoming increasingly complex and more difficult to identify. They are knowledgeable, sophisticated and have increased expectations about what they want. Customers are now under more pressure to act immediately.

These pointers are offered to prospective exhibitors before the show:

  • Determine your correct mission for participating.
  • Evaluate each trade show for what it contributes to your sales objective.
  • Determine who you want as key prospects.
  • Delineate other categories of visitors, and develop a strategy for maximizing your time with key prospects.
  • Develop action plans for accomplishing your goals and getting the right people to visit with your company at the show.
  • Be sure that booth personnel understand what they are responsible for…and what they are selling. Untrained staff can lose qualified prospects and leads.
  • Employ professional counsel to format your exhibit, thus maximizing your investment.
  • Keep labor costs to a minimum.
  • Be sure that every member of your company is aware of the exhibit. Encourage all to invite prospects and to attend themselves, even if not involved in exhibiting.
  • Market your presence at the show in advance via mailings, distribution of VIP tickets and inclusion of your booth in advertising. Invite your current clients to visit your booth. Most attendees go to the shows in response to invitations to visit specific exhibitors. * Notify your trade media that you will participate. Engage public relations professionals to publicize your involvement.
  • Work closely with the show’s management. They too are interested in the same audiences as you: attendees and the media. Invite the board of the sponsoring organization to visit your booth.

These pointers are offered in order to maximize the way in which you should exhibit the product-service:

  • * Graphically describe and show what you do. Don’t expect the product to show itself. Don’t expect people to know about you already. This is a fresh opportunity for you to communicate.
  • Keep your focus upon your products, rather than pretentious displays.
  • Keep the booth simple, clean and organized.
  • Give facts and simple explanations of your products. Since many visitors may be unfamiliar, don’t assume that they know what you do.
  • Ask questions and listen. Don’t concentrate on giving a sales pitch.
  • Good lighting, decoration and booth dress are always relevant to the product.
  • Show a maximum number of products.
  • A good demonstration convinces visitors that your product is all you claim it is.
  • Show what the product can do for them and what it has done for others.
  • Give samples, if possible.
  • Encourage audience participation.
  • Distribute professionally-produced, factual literature, or don’t give out any literature.
  • Use video as interactive demonstration elements, augmented by signage.
  • Collect business cards, as the basis for follow-up activities.
  • Make appointments to have in-depth presentations to serious prospects.
  • Trade show selling requires high energy levels. Booth people must be pro-active, greet all prospects and learn how to qualify.
  • Approach large numbers of people within short periods of time, determining how to best process each contact.

Research shows that trade show booths that have dishes of candy tend to draw twice the number of visitors than those without candy.

The value of premium giveaways lies in lasting impressions, increased name identification and paves the way for faster follow-ups with prospects.

These observations and recommendations are made for booth exhibit personnel:

  • Booth personnel must be equipped to give precise, detailed information on your product.
  • Train booth attendants for show duty. If possible, stage a dress rehearsal. Follow procedures for literature distribution, trash cleanup, conversation and public demeanor.
  • Work out approach statements in advance. Have talking points in writing. Follow a step-by-step process.
  • Staff with a technical representative, as well as a greeter. You can never have enough well-trained people at the show.
  • Avoid the high-pressure approach.
  • Do not smoke, drink or eat in the booth.
  • Booth personnel should look and act the part. Stand up straight. Keep your hands out of your pockets. Use approachable body language. Do not sit down unless you are with a client.
  • Dress conservatively.
  • Keep small talk with other booth personnel to a minimum.
  • Arrange and follow duty schedules. Keep staff alert and on their toes.
  • Make booth visitors feel welcome at all times.

Lead collection and follow-ups must be treated seriously. After the show is over, don’t forget to follow through on details, promises and intentions:

  • Send follow-up letters to each visitor who left a business card.
  • Send out requested additional materials within one week after the show.
  • Set a lead follow-up program, since early response is vital. Follow up on sales leads for at least two years after the show.
  • Evaluate your results.

Your company’s commitment to participate in trade shows represents a big step. You should always want to improve the exhibit each time, thus insuring a return on the investment. The process of strategizing your exhibit relates directly to your company’s promotional and business development philosophy. This process inevitably makes every company’s marketing position much stronger.

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.