trade show lead follow up

Money Making Methods for Following Up with Trade Show Leads

This article is right on about the follow up strategy for trade show leads.  When I started IT’S YOUR CALL I knew that most companies didn’t do the necessary follow up on leads gathered from trade shows.  I went to exhibitors at small business trade shows and asked who would do the lead qualification to all the prospects in their gold fish bowls? I then explained that being a B2B telemarketing service we could help them out!

The trade show is winding down and the exhaustion is setting in. So much planning! So much work! You’ve got a bunch of hard-earned leads when that nagging thought creeps in… what happens now? Do we have a solid plan to make the most ROI from these fresh contacts?

According to new research from Certain, 57% of survey respondents said it takes their organization four days or more to follow up with leads after an event concludes. Only 6% can follow-up with prospects on the same day or the day following the event. Timing is the key for successful follow up. Is your sales team ready for the leads that you gathered?

Having a solid follow-up plan is one of the most important parts of your overall trade show strategy. Too often we find exhibitors don’t have the necessary sense of urgency or a well-thought-out plan to successfully contact leads obtained at the show. It is all too common for leads to NEVER be contacted. Leads seem to “disappear into the ether” without a well-developed and executed after-show protocol.

There are many ways to capture a lead on the show floor and the follow-up method will be the same no matter how they were collected. There are many sophisticated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems available that make this process easier. Touch screen and badge scanning technology allows you to instantly capture their info. The most important thing to keep in mind is that leads are time sensitive.

Common Lead Follow-up Methods

  • Phone call
  • Email — this can be done directly from the show floor if you are using interactive technology.
  • Social media – LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are powerful and immediate contact points.
  • Direct mail including follow-up packets — include a thank you letter, catalog, informational brochures, special offers and maybe even a company branded give-away (people love freebies). Have these prepared before the show to get them out quickly after.
  • Best case is to schedule appointments directly from the show floor.

Keep in mind that the follow-up process starts on the show floor by qualifying your prospects properly and organizing their information immediately. Having the staff keep good notes on what the lead was interested in, buying timeline, and purchasing credentials will help identify leads as hot or cold. Using a score card is also an effective way to make sure they are being qualified correctly. Hot leads need to be followed up on immediately, within 48 hours of the show. Again, CRM software can help prepare a lead to go through the sales funnel quickly and efficiently.

Using interactive technology can also help qualify your leads with targeted surveys to find out what they are interested in. Analytics track what products and services are investigated. Automatic follow-up emails or custom messages can be scheduled with more useful content and information. New inbound marketing systems give customers what they want no matter where they are in the sales funnel.

Lead Follow-up Timeline

  • Send a simple thank you email 1-2 business days after the show, even if you emailed them directly from the show floor. Mention the topic of the conversation you had with the person and how your product can solve their problems. The personal touch can make a dramatic difference.
  • Follow up with a phone call to schedule a face to face appointment 1-2 weeks after the show.
  • If appropriate, extend a personal invite to an open house or corporate seminar at your facility 2-3 months after.
  • Deliver content and special offers catered to the lead via drip-campaign emails.

Lead Follow-up Tips

  • Have a meeting with follow up staff to clearly communicate timeline and expectations.
  • Craft emails with a recognizable and personalized subject, such as “(James), here is the information you requested at (show).”
  • Include succinct and mobile friendly email content highlighting the value your company will add to their program, your solution to a problem they are currently having, why your product/service/company is superior, a call to action, and a product/service overview. Give them valuable content they want and will use.
  • Put all potential leads into the CRM tool your company uses for future use. Make sure to drop them into a specific Nurture Campaign to keep them engaged.
  • Hold your sales reps accountable for actually following up with the qualified leads generated on the trade show floor.
  • Don’t start the follow up conversation with a sales pitch. Start with referencing the conversation you had with them on the sales floor (this is where those notes will really come in handy)

Following up in a short amount of time is crucial. Prompt, personalized and helpful follow up touches will lead to more sales. Organizing your leads into categories based on importance will help you prioritize and get the most return on investment from your trade show. But most of all, don’t let those leads melt away over time. Contact them!

https://www.applerock.com/blog/post/best-practices-following-after-trade-show#

 

5 Ways to Generate B2B Leads at Trade Shows

b2b trade show lead generation This article is written from the PR perspective but whether its from this industry perspective or any other marketing industry perspective the consensus is that a follow up phone call needs to occur after the trade show. Customers have hired IT’S YOUR CALL to  follow up on the b2b leads  they’ve generated at trade shows and we have always uncovered “hidden gems”.  Not only will follow up secure permission for opt in mailing lists but also has the extra benefit of qualifying the prospects.

  1. Contact the Right People Weeks Before

Typically, a trade show will release a list of press members who are covering the show. This may include bloggers, influencers, and journalists.

While these contacts are not themselves leads, their audience is. One of the most important steps you can take to snag time with these influential people is to reach out to them by email at least several weeks before a show. Request that they stop by your booth, and if possible, schedule a time for them to do so. Remeber that media get jammed at trade shows so you want to be early enough for them to see you. If they are overscheduled or not attending the conference, not to worry. Offer them the opportunity to interview you in advance and embargo the interview till the show.

If you can, give them samples, a free trial, or a demo of your product or service.  And don’t forget to provide background information or any helfpul collateral.

  1. Land a Speaking Engagement

Securing a speaking gig is a great way to generate more credibility around your brand, as well as yourself as a thought leader.

This isn’t always easy to do, so you must plan well in advance. Thought leadership begins with your owned media. In addition, once you have established credibility, you will have to submit an application to speak, likely months in advance. Here’s one tip to help get you in the door: Submit if you can with a customer. Trade shows are loaded with vendors eager to speak and you can differentiate yourself by presenting with a customer.

Landing a speaking engagement at a trade show is well worth the effort, as it will drive prospects, not only to your booth, but to your website since you will (with any luck) create a memorable presence.

  1. Establish Your Goals

Of course, the end game is always to turn strangers into buyers. However, the stage you’re at in your marketing game will largely determine your goals and means of achieving them.

If you’re a startup, you’re main mission at a trade show might be to create a buzz by handing out free swag. However, if you’re well-established, you might be aiming to launch a new product, or secure greater publicity.

Get your strategy in place by first determining your end game.

  1. Get Busy on Social Media

In the weeks and days that precede a trade event, you’ll want to create a buzz on social media. If your brand is launching a new product at a trade show, why not use Snapchat to reveal a hint of the product, mentioning that the full product will be unleashed at the upcoming trade show.

While you’re at the trade show, take full advantage of Facebook Liveto capture real-time highlights of the event.

  1. Follow Up

Want to know something a bit frightening? One statistic says:

“90% of trade show attendees received no follow-up within 12 months of their visit.”

If you want anything to come of your trade show experience, you must follow up. That means inputting new contacts into your CRM, reaching out via email or telephone, and asking for permission to add them to your email list.

Just think… if you can accomplish this one task that so few B2B companies are paying attention to, you’ll have the upper hand to win your prospects’ attention.

http://b2bprblog.marxcommunications.com/b2bpr/how-to-get-killer-b2b-leads-at-trade-shows

 

7 Ways To Be Better at Prospecting

mlm-prospecting1

This article says it all.  Unfortunately many small businesses don’t have the time to dedicate towards making the prospecting cold calls.  It’s Your Call is a business to business telemarketing service that is dedicated to helping businesses with their marketing efforts. So many leads…so little time

1. Consistency Counts: Prospect Daily!

Salespeople acquire new clients, and to do so, they necessarily open relationships. Prospecting is the art of opening new relationships. The new business opportunities that later turn into sales are initially identified through prospecting, making prospecting the lifeblood of sales.

The first way to improve you’re your prospecting results is to acknowledge its importance to your sales results and treat it accordingly.

Improving your prospecting results begins with setting aside the time and the energy to prospect each and every day. And, yes, I do mean each and every day. You would never suggest that you could only close on Thursday afternoons, and it is ridiculous to suggest that there is only a single time at which you can be effective prospecting. It is equally ridiculous to suggest that your prospects are only open to taking your calls on Mondays and Fridays. Those are generalizations and all generalizations are lies.

Write a weekly plan making time to prospect every day. It is best to set aside the time first thing in the morning to ensure it gets done before the world makes other demands of you.

2. Turn Off the Distractions

Turn off the Internet. Turn off your email. Turn off your Smart Phone. Focus.

Tell your friends you have a new found discipline and that you need their support; promise to catch up with them later.

Hang a sign on your door saying “Do Not Disturb! Prospecting!” If you don’t have a door, use string and hang the sign over your desk.

3. Use Every Method Available

Prospecting is the activity of opening new relationships, but it isn’t really what we are focused on here. We are focused on the outcome that is better described as opening new business relationships to identify potential new business opportunities. There are many ways to do this, and all of them are effective sometimes.

To prospect well, you need to focus your time and energy on what works best for you, but not exclusively. If you are great at cold calling, you should absolutely focus on cold calling. But that doesn’t mean that you should never use email marketing, inbound marketing, networking, trade shows and conferences, direct mail, social networking, or referrals. You should include all of these tools in your arsenal.

Make a list of all of the methods that you can and will use to prospect. Plan the time that you will set aside for each method and how many prospects you will gain from your effort. For example, you might commit to attending one networking event per month with the result that you acquire two new prospects from each networking event. Measure these results and focus on what generates the greatest return on your investment of time, but remember that your prospects may have their own opinion on how they best like to be approached, and you shouldn’t exclude any method.

4. Write Scripts

Two things cause poor prospecting results. The first is not spending enough time prospecting. The other is ineffective prospecting. This mostly comes down to language choices. It comes down to what you are saying when you prospect.

There is no substitute for scripts.

“But wait!” you say. “I am a professional salesperson and I can’t sound like I am using a script!” I hear you loud and clear. And you can’t sound like someone that your prospect isn’t interested in meeting either.

First you have to recognize that you are already using a script. The words that you use when prospecting (and on sales calls, by the way), are choices that are comfortable to you because you have rehearsed them. They are comfortable to you because you have them memorized, not because you are reading them. But this doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best language choices.

Your effectiveness is improved by choosing carefully the word that use, making observations about what is working and what isn’t working. This takes an awareness, focus, and discipline. It also allows you to experiment with language choices to see what is most effective.

Write scripts for each of the prospecting methods you use. Write responses to the common objections you hear. Rehearse them. If you are part of a great sales team, do this together and rehearse them together. Commit the best language to memory and replace the unwritten and ineffective scripts you are already using.

5. Focus on the Outcome

The outcome of prospecting is to open the relationship. This almost always involves obtaining the commitment for an appointment.

Effectiveness in prospecting is improved by simply focusing on the outcome. This means that you don’t allow your prospecting to turn into a needs analysis, a presentation, or a discussion about the merits of your product or service. It means you apply a laser-like focus on scheduling the appointment.

The reason some salespeople struggle focusing on the outcome of an appointment and the reason often they slip into the sales mode is because they feel that they have to prove that they can create value for the prospect during their prospecting activity. But prospecting has a very different goal, namely, the opening of the exploration of the possibility that you might be able to create value and do something together. Selling, at this point, is premature.

There is no list to make, no plan to write here. Just know that a successful outcome here is almost always an appointment. It doesn’t matter how much you liked them or how much they liked you if you didn’t schedule an appointment.

6. Get Good at Cold Calling

There is too much to write here about how to get good at cold calling. But it is important that you have it in your repertoire, and that you build your competency picking up the phone and scheduling an appointment.

Cold calling is still one of the fastest ways to schedule appointments and to open relationships, and the very best salespeople are the very best at cold calling. They are also the very best at all other forms of prospecting, and the only salespeople I have found that are willing to consistently ask for referrals, something else salespeople avoid.

Start cold calling.

7. Nurture Relationships Over Time

Even when you use all of the ideas above, you are still going to hear “no.” You are going to hear it a lot. But relationships, including business relationships, are built over time. Your consistent and unrelenting pursuit of your dream clients is part of a longer-term plan for success and not a quick fix.

Consistency here means that these prospects hear from you more than sporadically. It means they hear from you frequently and with all the predictability of the Sun rising each morning.

Your calls, your thank you cards, your letters, your white papers, your surveys, your studies, your newspaper and web clippings, your constant attempts to find a way to create some value before claiming any all add up over time.

Some of the best relationships and the biggest deals will take the longest time to win, and your consistent nurturing of these relationships will open opportunities for you over time. This approach proves that you are not going to disappear like so many of your peers, that you are truly interested in working with them, that you are a professional who executes well, and that you are determined. These are some of the attributes that people look for in salespeople and partners.

Write a nurturing plan. What will you do to create value for your dream clients even before they decide to set an appointment with you? How often will you call? How often will they receive something from you? What will they receive? What will it say about you? How will it create trust?

Conclusion

Salespeople open relationships. Opening relationships is built upon the ability to prospect. Follow these steps to improve your prospecting results.

7 Ways To Be Better at Prospecting

Best Practices for Following Up After the Trade Show

callemailIt’s Your Call will be exhibiting at the #CTBEXPO this Thursday June 9 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. We’ll be across from the Sales Education Hub booth #337!  We can help with the Follow Up for the b to b lead qualification that’s described below!

Having a solid follow-up plan is one of the most important parts of your overall trade show strategy. Your follow-up strategy should directly correlate with the original goals and objectives set during the initial planning process. Too often we find exhibitors don’t have the necessary sense of urgency or a well thought-out plan to successfully follow-up on the leads obtained at the show. In fact, according to Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), 80% of tradeshow leads receive no follow up at all, which is why having a good follow up plan is imperative to your company’s success at the show.

There are several different ways to capture a lead  on the show floor and the follow-up method will be the same no matter how they were collected. The most important thing to keep in mind is that leads are time sensitive.

Common Lead Follow-up Methods

  • Phone call
  • Email — this can even be directly from the show floor if you are using interactive technology
  • Direct mail
  • Mail follow-up packets — include a thank you letter, catalog, informational brochures, special offers and maybe even a company branded give-away (people love freebies). Have these prepared before the show to get them out quickly after.
  • Schedule appointments directly from the show floor.

Keep in mind that the follow-up process starts on the show floor with making sure the leads are organized and qualified correctly. Having the booth staffers make good notes on what the lead was interested in, buying timeline, and purchasing credentials will help identify leads as hot or cold. Using a score card is also a good way to make sure they are being qualified correctly. Hot leads need to be followed up on immediately, within 48 hours of the show.

Lead Follow-up Timeline

  • Send a simple thank you email 1-2 days after the show.
  • Follow up with a phone call to schedule a face to face appointment 1-2 weeks after the show.
  • Extend a personal invite to an open house or corporate seminar at your facility 2-3 months after.
  • Send special offers to earn their business 6-12 months after the show.

Lead Follow-up Tips

  • Have a meeting with follow up staff to clearly communicate timeline and expectations.
  • Emails should have a recognizable subject, such as “Here is the information you requested at (show).”
  • Emails should also include the value your company will add to their program, your solution to a problem they are currently having, why your product/service/company is superior, a call to action, and a product/service overview.
  • Put all potential leads into the CRM tool your company uses for future use.
  • Hold your sales reps accountable for actually following up with the qualified leads generated on the trade show floor.
  • Don’t start the follow up conversation with a sales pitch. Start with referencing the conversation you had with them on the sales floor (this is where those notes will really come in handy)

Lead Response Management states that the best day to contact leads is on Wednesday or Thursday between the hours of 4pm and 6pm.

When following up, doing so in a short amount of time is crucial. Prompt follow up should lead to more sales.   Also, organizing your leads into categories based on importance will help you get the most return on investment from your trade show.

https://www.applerock.com/blog/post/best-practices-following-after-trade-show#

The Insidesales.com/M.I.T. Lead Response Management Study

science-studiesRecently I was asked when is the best time to call on leads.  I shared the results for telemarketing  from the study below. We have used the times table  below to schedule calls and have had similar results.  Not that we were as scientific as MIT….

The behavioral study revealed when sales representatives had success around calling web generated leads. To find these facts, we looked at leads that were captured through a web
form, and attempted or called at least one time. Summarized below are some of the more
interesting findings related to speed and timing when responding to web-generated leads:

1. Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to call in order to contact (by 49.7% over
the worst day) and qualify (by 24.9% over the worst day) leads. Thursday is the best
day to contact a lead in order to qualify that lead (by 19.1% better than the worst day).
2. 4–6pm is the best time to call to make contact with a lead (by 114% over the worst
time block). 8–9am and 4–5pm are the best times to call to qualify a lead (by 164%
better 1–2pm, the worst time of the day). 4–5pm is the best time to contact a lead to
qualify over 11–12am by 109%).
3. The odds of calling to contact a lead decrease by over 10 times in the 1st hour. The
odds of calling to qualify a lead decrease by over 6 times in the 1st hour. After 20
hours every additional dial your salespeople make actually hurts your ability to make
contact to qualify a lead.
4. The odds of contacting a lead if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drop 100 times.
The odds of qualifying a lead if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drop 21 times.

http://www.leadresponsemanagement.org/lrm_study

5 Tips for Your Lead Qualification Process

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This article describes the importance of having a lead qualification process.  Many of our customers hire us on a project basis to qualify their prospects acquired from inbound marketing, trade shows , and other direct marketing campaigns.  Using the phone to qualify leads can differentiate one company from another.

If you don’t have a lead qualification team in place it’s probably a good time to consider one. But that’s the subject of a whole other post. According to the MarketingSherpa 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report, as much as 61% of companies directly pass leads from marketing to sales without lead qualification.

While still under-rated, lead qualification teams deliver tremendous value, acting as a sieve between marketing and sales. They trawl through countless prospects — from various sources such as your website, tradeshows and webinars — and distill out qualified leads.

Companies constantly work to ensure only the right leads are passed onto sales. Here are five tips that can help you get a jumpstart.

1. The human voice can do miraculous things.
Every time a lead touches a threshold lead score, let the lead qualification or teleprospecting team jump in. Let this team largely operate by telephone as this medium renders a human touch. While telemarketing may often be perceived as annoying it does have its role. A prospect who is reeling under the stress of a business problem may be more than happy to talk to a rep who promises a solution.

2. Have a script.
Forms can help capture many details such as geography, vertical, company size and job title, which the lead qualification team can then verify. Additionally, consider the following points as you prepare your script:

  • BANT (budget, authority, need and timing)
  • Decision maker/s
  • Decision making process
  • Does he fit your customer profile
  • Is he in talks with competitors
  • Book an appointment with a sales rep

Tweak the script based on the prospect’s enquiry,download activity and blogs read.

3. Be lenient on BANT. 

BANT may have once been the holy grail of lead qualification but times have changed. While every rep would be well advised to check on BANT, don’t chuck the leads that are not fully BANT qualified. An overqualified lead might not be an opportunity at all. In fact, if you find clear cut answers to all four aspects of BANT, you might have just missed the boat. The prospect may very well be in the final stage of buying. Be sure to handover leads even if budget and timing have not been crystalized.

4. Make one call and one call only.
Lead qualification should be over in one phone call. At the end of the call the rep should know what action to take. Each lead can go into 1 of 4 buckets:

  • Abandon
  • Return to marketing for nurturing
  • Handover to sales for immediate action
  • Handover to sales for follow up

5. Measure everything.
Measure the entire exercise so you can constantly improve the conversion rate. Measure the following:

  • Number of leads discarded
  • Number of leads given back to marketing for lead nurturing
  • Number of leads handed over to sales
  • Number of leads that convert to a sale
  • Time to close

http://www.leadformix.com/blog/2013/11/5-tips-for-your-lead-qualification-process/

 

Qualifying trade show leads the right way

imagesTrade show attendance is more than “just showing up”  Solid leads can be obtained when putting a plan in place to handle attendees during the show.  This article does an excellent job describing a process for what to do while exhibiting.    Of course, the other vital component of the trade show strategy is to have a follow up plan which includes making follow up calls!

Qualifying Trade Show Leads…Quality Matters … Not Quantity

Qualifying trade show leads leads at the show is a skill that is often unappreciated and misunderstood. Statistics indicate that of every 100 visitors at a trade show, only 10 are qualified to purchase. And of those 10 visitors, only 3 have an immediate need to buy. Like a prospector panning for gold, how does your booth staff sift through the multitude of visitors to find those treasured qualified leads? There are only two parts to qualifying trade show leads. The answer lies in staff conduct, and the ability to ask the right open-ended questions to complete the qualification process quickly and efficiently.

Show floors are noisy, so exhibit staff must talk slowly and clearly. Maintain good eye contact to demonstrate that you’re listening and that the visitor has your full attention. When speaking to more than 1 visitor be certain to address each of them equally. Avoid criticizing your competitors. Remain standing with your arms at your sides or cupped beneath your waist, and remain polite and friendly.

Some exhibit staffers try to sell to everyone, which is frustrating and unproductive. What you need to do is use the first minute or two to qualify prospects before beginning a mini-presentation or a more in-depth conversation. You may find yourself talking to an enthusiastic listener who has absolutely no intention of ever buying your product or service. Use open-ended questions to quickly ascertain whether this visitor warrants more of your precious attention.

To begin, never ask “May I help you?”. The visitor may say no thanks and walk away. Also never greet visitors to your booth with the question “How are you today?”, since visitors know you aren’t genuinely concerned about their health. Instead, try asking “How are you enjoying the show?”. This question can engage the visitor in a discussion about their purpose for attending the show, whether their visit has been successful, and what progress they’ve made thus far.

Once you’ve established contact, ask some opening questions to evaluate their potential need for your product or service. Find out who you’re talking with, where they’re from, objectives for attending the show, what specific product/service they need, and any challenges they may currently be experiencing. Highlight the features of your product/service but keep the conversation focused on the visitor’s needs. Your company’s advantages are a distant second.

If there is a perceived need for your product/service, next pose some open-ended investigating questions to determine the visitor’s budget authority, ability to influence purchasing decisions, and the roles of employees who are involved in the decision-making process. Again, ask open-ended questions to create an interactive dialogue and determine whether the visitor’s budget and authority warrant continuing the discussion.

If the visitor’s budget, authority and needs increase the likelihood of a potential sale, next verify a timeline for a purchase by asking another open-ended question such as “When do you think you’ll be making a decision to proceed?”. You can then pose some closing questions, including “Is there anything else you need to know from us?” and “What would you like to see as the next step?” Perhaps even “May I call you in a few days to schedule an appointment, or can we book an appointment now?”. Then record the visitor’s contact information and important details on your lead form.

When qualifying your trade show leads you determine the person to whom you are talking is not qualified what do you do?
If, during the first minute or two you’ve determined that the visitor is not qualified, but continues to monopolize your valuable time, try to end the conversation quickly but courteously. Simply hand the visitor a brochure, say “Here’s some more information about our product/service for you to read when you have a chance” and express thanks for stopping by your booth. Shake the visitor’s hand, and walk to another area of your exhibit.

By all means make eye contact, smile, and greet everyone who passes by your booth. But if a prospect chooses to stop and chat, your staff must be prepared to complete the qualification process quickly and politely. With proper staff conduct, and an abundance of open-ended questions to determine the visitor’s needs, budget, authority and time frame, you can qualify leads in a fast and efficient manner. Ask appropriate questions to sort quality from quantity.

http://smarttradeshows.com/trade-shows-qualifying-trade-show-leads-right-way/

BEST PRACTICES FOR TRADE SHOW FOLLOW-UP

extWe have many customers who go to trade shows and generate a lot of interest in their products or services.  Here is a link to a case study of how we helped one customer.  Below is an article that describes various ways to follow up.

Trade shows continue to be one of the most efficient ways to introduce new products to large groups of existing and potential customers—because thousands of qualified buyers come together to hear what you have to say. And trade shows are a great opportunity to make connections and interact one-on-one with customers. For many companies, trade shows are about nurturing relationships with existing customers and generating leads to create new relationships.

Making the most of trade shows takes significant resources—time and budget. You’re already investing in being at the show, but the question is, how can you make sure you’re making the most of this investment after the show?

Here are four tips to build stronger relationships through strategic trade show follow-up:

Quickly connect after the show

Once the show is over and your customers have returned home, it’s back to the grind. Your customer’s attention will be on a variety of job concerns and purchasing your product or service may be at the bottom of the list. Maintain the momentum you’ve built during the show—and keep your company top of mind—by making contact with customers within two weeks of the end of the show. This can be with a direct mail piece that’s been designed and is ready to print, an email that you’ve pre-built in HTML or phone calls from sales reps for a select group of customers. In fact, it’s likely to be some combination of these tactics depending on the customer.

Take action: Develop a communication plan before you head to the show so you’re ready to keep the conversation going.

Get personal for better returns

Trade shows attract thousands of attendees to visit hundreds of exhibitors covering tens of thousands of square feet of convention center space. Make your customers feel like more than just a number by showing them they stood out to you. A good lead retrieval device will allow you to capture additional data when scanning a visitor’s show badge. Some devices even have voice-recording functionality. Take an extra 10 seconds to make note when a customer is attending a specific booth event, such as a happy hour or presentation. Then use this information to personalize the follow-up communication; according to a Pardot study, businesses that use personalized messages see a 19% increase in sales.

You can make it really personal with one-to-one connections via social platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn. The information you gather on booth activities and event attendance can give you a conversation starter.

Take action: Set the expectation with employees at the booth and those coordinating events that you want better data. Request that every badge be scanned at every opportunity.

Make it relevant

Customers go to trade shows looking for information and are open to conversation. It’s a relaxed, fun environment. But after the show, they’re back to business and you’re encroaching on their precious time. Make sure your follow-up includes valuable information and is more than a thank you for visiting your booth. When you offer relevant content they can’t get elsewhere, such as a white paper on a hot industry topic, you increase the likelihood your communication will be read.

Take action: Take your connection one step farther by making your follow-up personally relevant. If you know a set of customers attended a specific presentation in the booth, send a more targeted follow-up piece specific to that topic.

Have a long(er)-term plan

As you’re developing your communication plan prior to the show, make sure you think beyond a single follow-up piece. Create a cadence of information, and plan your next three to five customer touch points. It’s much easier to continue a conversation than to rekindle one that has died out.

Take action: Consider a marketing automation tool that will help track, score and prioritize leads and take some of the burden off sales—allowing reps to focus on the hottest prospects prime for business.

You invest a lot of time and money on trade shows; they’re a big investment for a big opportunity. Consider these four tips as ways to extend the reach of a trade show and make the most of this opportunity to forge new customer relationships, deepen those that exist—and drive an ongoing conversation about your brand.

https://www.capstrat.com/posts/best-practices-trade-show-follow-/