Review all of the leads from the show. Prioritize leads, apply triage when necessary. All trade show leads should be reviewed by the management of the company. You want to see the caliber of the people who are going to this trade show, and you want to know the type of attendees that are stopping by your booth. If your leads indicate that only literature collectors came to your booth, and no one with real requirements for your products or services, then you have some major decisions to make especially regarding this trade show.
I look at all trade shows as an opportunity to generate business opportunities. If you make a substantial investment in a trade show you should expect to see a return on your investment.
A major problem is that leads from a trade show are never followed up in a timely fashion. Someone in the exhibiting company should be held accountable for the prompt and efficient follow up of these qualified leads. In a recent study, it was shown that 82% of trade show leads were followed up AFTER the attendee had already made the decision to purchase a product or service.
If you have established time lines for your leads based on your experience then why not treat them as QUALIFIED AND READY TO DO BUSINESS? The time line for following up is dependent on what you have established for example:
“A” leads – to me this qualified prospect has told me that they expect to place an order within 30 days or less.
“B” leads within 30 to 60 days
“C” leads within 60 to 90 days
“D” leads could very well be next year.
You cannot follow up on A leads in 45 days. They must be acted upon in the time as stated on your qualification form otherwise you are just going through the motions.
Trade Show leads are without question the best leads you could have. The people on these leads have been qualified, they were there to find out about your product or service, and they were there to do business. Yet, so many marketers, and sales managers treat these leads like yesterdays news with an attitude of, “Well they came to our booth, they saw what we had, we answered their questions, now if they want something they can contact us” Yeah, right! But that is the way I see it.
Clients, Prospects, and suspects want to be sold! If they have taken the time to visit your booth, have gone through the qualification sequence, they understand that you will be contacting them, then why not finish the job and SELL your product or service?
A visitor to a trade show usually refers to the trade show directory to determine what companies and booths he or she will visit. If your company is listed as a company that makes product A, when they get to your booth, the attendee expect to see product A, not hear or see some other product that your company manufacturers.
Yet companies either list every product they manufacture or list 1 or 2 basic products , and when the attendee get to the exhibitors booth and asks to see a demonstration they are told the company didn’t bring that product this trip, but they have other products that they can show you. Now what has the exhibitor done?
The attendee has taken time to come to the booth, hoping to see the product that was listed in the directory, and was told they don’t have it.
Do you think this attendee will be pleased with this type of response, and what do you think he will say about your company in the future?
If you list the product in the trade show directory make sure you have the product in your booth!
I believe that everyone that stands booth duty should be trained for every trade show regardless of their trade show experience.
I also believe that different types of company personnel should also stand booth duty. If you were to talk to an engineer and ask them what sales and marketing people do, nine out of ten times they would say that they spend most of their time socializing , and that a trade show is just another reason for them to get together and have a good time.
Well, for anyone who has had the opportunity of standing booth duty they know that is the farthest thing from the truth. Trade Shows are a lot of hard work. Any marketing tool has to be used correctly and effectively to be worthwhile. Having different types of personnel, who have been trained; bring another prospective to the trade show.
When the show is finished, and you have the opportunity to question them about their experiences at the trade show you will be surprised at the type of response that you get, and the insight that they have from the experience. They will certainly be more sensitive and understanding of what marketing and sales is all about.
Many of the suggestions that my clients have received have been from company personnel, other than sales and marketing types, who were requested to stand booth duty.
Engineers, software developers, manufacturing and administrative personnel will look at a trade show differently than a sales person or a marketer. Thinking outside the box brings another dimension to the assumptions made by sales and marketers who have the, “Been there done that” attitude that limit their vision and their thinking. Welcome the comments of these non-sales and non marketers, analyze their input objectively and you will be pleasantly surprised.