• Boothmanship

By Dr. Allen Konopacki, Author, Winning Strategies for

Successful Exhibiting, www.tradeshowresearch.com


HAVE FUN! If you’re not enjoying yourself, your negative attitude will become contagious.

BE APPROACHABLE! Avoid “pitch posture” such as arms crossed, hands in the pockets and leaning on counters.

BE A GREETER, NOT A GUARD. Don’t stand behind a counter or in front of the equipment on display. Stand off to the side.

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. Avoid dehydration by consuming at least four glasses of water per day to help fight fatigue.

AVOID RADAR VISION. Don’t immediately look at a persons name badge. It shows that you’re trying to evaluate. Make eye contact, greet and introduce yourself.

AVOID CLUSTERING. Prospects tend not to interrupt two or more staffers involved in a discussion.

AVOID “MAY I HELP YOU?” This greeting promotes a “No, thank you” reply. Welcome them first and then find out their interest.

SMILE, SMILE AND SMILE AGAIN! When you smile you send a message to your body that you feel good and your attitude creates a positive impression.

LOOK ATTENTIVE. Fifty-six percent of the impression a visitor makes about the exhibit is based on nonverbal body language.

TAKE NOTE! Fifty percent of what people say is forgotten in 60 seconds. Make a note on a contact form of key comments.


Your Personal Image


  It’s important that you present a professional image when representing NARFE at a seminar or exhibit. When you stand

before a NARFE exhibit or event, what you wear and how you conduct yourself projects powerful, nonverbal messages. These

nonverbal messages are as important in your presentation as the verbal skills you use when selling NARFE to prospects.

The trend towards casual dress has become more and more popular. Business Casual is a common term in the workforce.

But if you were going on an interview or a first-date, you wouldn’t wear tennis shoes and a T-shirt, would you?


Most of these are common sense but here are some simple guidelines to follow:

Men should wear a jacket and tie or a shirt with the NARFE logo.

No jeans, tennis shoes or T-shirts.

No NARFE vests, please. Those vests are great for NARFE functions but inappropriate in a professional setting.

Don’t display your pin collection on your shirt. You are there to sell NARFE, not your ability to collect pins.

Beware of foods that may leave breath odor, particularly tobacco, alcohol and coffee.

Wear a smile. Nothing sells better than confidence.

Stand, don’t sit. You will be more approachable.

Dress and accessorize conservatively. You want the prospect to focus on what NARFE has to offer not your clothes.

Wear a nametag.

Like it or not, appearances are important.

People make judgments about us based on what they see, hear and sense. Following the above common-sense tips will add to

your success as a NARFE salesperson.




- Make sure you are using and familiar with the current NARFE recruiting materials.  Listings can be found on the NARFE website, under Officer Resources and Member Development.


- Work with the chapter membership chair and leadership to ensure they are prepared to perform the follow-on actions required on newly recruited members and prospects.


- Presentation items, such as NARFE pens, can be used to catch and hold prospects attention.  They are available to the chapters from the WSFC PR Chair.



Prospect Names

  •   Pre-retirement speakers have an official form to record attendees’ names and addresses, but it’s a good idea to collect names at exhibit events, too.

  • You can offer attendees an alternative to taking materials with them and offer an opportunity for an additional free copy of NARFE magazine.

  • Prominently display a sign-up sheet for attendees to record their names and mailing addresses. Include a place to indicate if they are working or retired. Make sure the form is easy to read and there is plenty of room for their information. Putting it on a clipboard is helpful.

  • If you want to increase the likelihood of people signing up, why not offer a chance at a free membership? At the conclusion of the meeting, have a drawing. Choose a couple of names and award them a free membership. It’s money well spent by your chapter, and it may mean a member you keep for a lifetime.

  • Send the names you collect to NARFE Headquarters. Staff at Headquarters will enter them into the database as prospects. They will receive another membership application and an added issue of NARFE magazine.