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The Marketing Book Podcast: "Three Feet from Seven Figures" by David Spark

Three Feet from Seven Figures: One-on-One Engagement Techniques to Qualify More Leads at Trade Shows by David Spark


David Spark is a veteran tech journalist and founder of Spark Media Solutions, a brand journalism and media consulting firm that helps its clients be seen as leading voices in their fields.  His firm also offers trade show training.

Spark’s company has worked with clients such as IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, HP, Dell and LinkedIn.

David and his articles have appeared in more than 40 media outlets including Mashable, Wired, PCWorld and ABC Radio to name just a few.

Today, David co-hosts the weekly Tear Down Show round table podcast and blogs regularly at SparkMinute.com

Earlier in his career, David spent ten years working in advertising and marketing at various agencies and also squandered more than a dozen years working as a touring standup comedian, a San Francisco tour guide, and comedy writer for The Second City in Chicago.

The Host's Perspective:

If your company exhibits at trade shows, I would argue that you cannot afford not to read this book. Why? Well, let’s do some math. Open up a spreadsheet and add up all the money you’re going to spend at your next trade show. That will include things like booth sponsorship, signage, equipment, printing, employee salaries while at the event, airfare, hotels, videos, meals, liquor, and so on. Then add up all those numbers and divide by the number of hours the trade show floor will be open. If it’s a two-day event and the floor will be open for a total of 16 hours, divide all your costs by 16.

Did you get a big number? That’s your hourly cost to be at the show. Lots of companies are spending anywhere between $5,000 and $35,000 per HOUR.

Now here’s the real tragedy: many companies have not invested a nickel in training their trade show booth people to leverage that hourly investment. Sadly, many companies are hemorrhaging money under the mistaken assumption that they just need people with a pulse working the trade show booth. And that’s a shame because the people in the booth are literally three feet away from trade show attendees who could ultimately represent seven figure business deals.

But they are not getting those deals because they don’t know what to do (and what not to do) in a trade show booth.

The book walks you through things like:

  • How to establish measurable goals for a trade show
  • How to break the ice with a trade show attendee
  • The one thing you should never to say to an attendee
  • Why you should qualify leads while you’re talking to them in the booth
  • Why salespeople are not always the best people to work the trade show booth
  • Why you should not try to close business at at trade show

… and about one hundred other forehead-slapping things that you’ll want to know before you even think about exhibiting at your next trade show.

So many trade show exhibitors resemble football teams that consistently get close enough to touch the goal line but just can’t seem to cross it. This book will get your company into the trade show end zone consistently and more frequently. 

Listen to the Interview:

Show Notes: 

"Three Feet from Seven Figures: One-on-One Engagement Techniques to Qualify More Leads at Trade Shows" by David Spark

"Freakonomics" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

"The E-Myth" by Michael E. Gerber

Elephant And Piggie Books by Mo Willems

"The Comedians" by Kliph Nesteroff

David's Agency (SparkMediaSolutions.com)

David's Trade Show Training (TradeShowTraining.net)

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Douglas Burdett
Douglas Burdett
The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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