Follow up is essential to meeting your original trade show objectives and time is of the essence. Your lead is very likely to have visited with one or more of your competitors. According to some industry estimates by the time exhibitors do post-show lead-fulfillment, 43% of prospects have already made a purchase. Any delay in following up may cost you a sale.
The key to follow up begins even before your exhibit opens. Decide ahead of time how you will follow up with different types of leads. For example, you might place your less qualified leads in a lead nurturing campaign, while your hottest leads are handled immediately by sales. Create your lead nurturing campaign before you leave for the show.
The follow up campaign should be integrated into your overall exhibit strategy and integrate with your booth message. Our typical follow-up campaigns consist of email, social and phone follow-up. The type of follow up, frequency and duration will depend on the quality of the lead.
Prepare your new contacts for future follow up while you are still at the show. You could say something as simple as “I really enjoyed our conversation. There is an article (or other piece of content) that I think will be helpful to you. Look for it in your inbox.” If possible, email the information that same day. At the latest, send it out as soon as you return to the office.
As you are collecting contact information at the show, ask people if they are on Twitter, LinkedIn or whatever social accounts you use for business. Ideally, while still at the show, send them a personalized invitation to connect with a reminder of where and how you met. Once you are connected, be sure to share content with them and promote their content to your followers.
High quality leads who are ready to buy should be turned over immediately to the sales team. Ideally a member of the sales team was at the show and could take an order on-site. Otherwise, a sales call should be set for the prospect’s first availability.
If you exhibit at several different trade shows, keep track of which show is generating the most leads and the most sales. You will likely find that although some shows generate a lot of leads, they may be low quality leads that don’t convert to sales while others shows are real money-makers. This data will help you decide where to concentrate your efforts and where you can safely afford to cut back. If a particular show is consistently delivering results, you may want to consider increasing your investment there, perhaps using a larger booth in order to bring more staff, buying a more prominent location or considering sponsorship.
Would you like to improve the effectiveness of your trade show marketing? Contact us today for a free consultation.