Brilliant? Brazen? Unbelievable? How far is too far when trying to sell?

Kevin Grossman and I just attended a very intimate Onrec Expo this week in Chicago from November 2-4, and though the numbers were small, the conversations seemed to be valuable. (Isn’t that we have been saying about the last number of industry conferences that we have attended lately – SHRM and HR Tech?)

I always find it very interesting to watch how the booth staff get the attention of the delegates – or essentially get their attention to sell. Gimmicks, giveaways, entertainment in the booth, well dressed or seriously bizarrely dressed staff – so many ways, but then it is the sale.

When is it too far? I mean, it is expected that when you are walking an expo floor of any conference that you are going to get “sold” to.

BUT what about during the educational sessions? Aren’t they supposed to be informative and learning experiences?

When the CEO, Business Development person or VP of Sales is speaking, with no client to support the session, there is always a chance that it is going to be a HUGE sales job. A chance – is what I said. I am not accusing all session speakers in that position to be SALES PITCHES, but some blatantly are – and you know who you are!!! Or do you???

What about when the attendees are in their second day of walking the expo, networking with colleagues, going in and out of sessions and then are sitting in a lounge area, comfy couches, feet up, just chatting about anything BUT the conference to bring some sanity to their exhausted brains.

Is that the time to be approached by yet another vendor trying to sell their wares? Is that overstepping the boundary of respect?

That’s what I saw. It was not a long conversation, but a vendor (who was not exhibiting but just “walking the floor”) was obviously catching these delegates anywhere and doing their “thang”.

Quick conversation, “I think I can really help you” and handing out their card. Gone.

Brilliant? Resourceful? Brazen? Unscrupulous? Unbelievable? Workin’ it good?

I can accept having a conversation – ‘how about the weather’ ‘what do you think of (insert you favorite sports team here) ‘ - and if it is appropriate, then exchanging the “so what do you do”.

Build relationships and woo.

But hunting these vulnerable delegates out and BAM POW with a bunch of sugar smack selling!!! I don't think so.

What do you think? Seriously, what do you think?

Well, I did approach these three lovely ladies that had just had their space entered, and NO I DID NOT SELL THEM ANYTHING – I asked them how they felt about what just happened. Interesting answer.

Maybe we should issue those sales people with little black masks and capes so that they can fly in – BAM POW SUGAR SMACK – do their thang – and be gone.

We can see them coming and duck.

Post by Rita Jackson (join HRmarketer on Twitter!)

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