At 2015 Summer NAMM, Larry Bailin hosted the NAMM U Breakfast Session “No More Average Marketing—How to Cut Through the Noise.” During the session, Bailin, a sales and marketing expert, gave the show’s exhibitors some tough love about their approach to greeting attendees.
Bailin explained that he’d walked the exhibit floor on the first day of Summer NAMM. He turned his badge around, so no one could see if he was a buyer or not.
“And I walked up every single aisle,” he said. “I walked past every single exhibitor—every one—purposefully, and no one said anything to me. No one said, ‘Hi.’ No one said, ‘Can I help you?’ No one said, ‘Hey, have you every heard of this? Hey, did you see us here? Hey, what brings you here today?’
“I was taking things off their tables, begging them to say something to me—whether it was a Butterfinger, a mint.” He added that he was blatantly grabbing free giveaways from their booths to get their attention. “And no one said anything.”
One exhibitor even stood at his booth playing guitar, facing the back wall. “I sat there for 5, 10 minutes just to watch,” Bailin said. “I was stunned in amazement. I was stunned that his purpose in life was to be there, not to sell, not to engage, not to get customers.”
Finally, one exhibitor did stop Bailin to introduce herself and her product. “It was just engagement. It just started out with, ‘Hi, have you ever heard of us?’
“That was engagement. And then we started talking.” The exhibitor proceeded to tell him all about her product and sold him on it.
Watch the entire session here. Note: You must be logged in as a NAMM member to view.