April 29, 2011

Q&A – How soon do you follow up leads from a trade show?

Dear Mr. Hill:

How soon do you follow up leads from a trade Show? I am in the plumbing industry and I sell strictly to wholesale, so it’s different than electronic industry that you talk about. Lately I have been contacting them either after they purchased their plumbing requirements for the year, or months before they intend to buy.  What am I doing wrong? Yet, I speak with them at these trade shows and I always get positive indications that they will be buying, and I believe from me, but then, as I said I’m either too early or too late. As far as I’m concerned these trade shows are a waste of time.

Frustrated sales person

Bill D. Sales Rep

Miami Beach, FL.

Dear Bill:

Don’t blame the Trade Shows. If you consider the trade show a waste of time then you, then you are not doing you job effectively. If you don’t know when your clients buy have you ever asked them the question “When is the best time for me to contact you about these products so that we can consolidate our thinking and finalize on the delivery, quantity and price” At a trade show the questions about pricing, delivery and how soon the products are required should all be part of your company’s qualification sequence.  Depending on how soon the potential client needs the product you should be contacting the client asking again, “When is the best time for me to visit your facility so that we can finalize on your requirements?” I assume you are speaking to more than one person at that company, and asking basically the same questions so that you can be prepared to finalize on the requirements.  I know if you follow this game plan you will be successful.

To your continued Trade Show Success.

John Hill, Trade Show Coach