Trade shows are a great place to introduce new customers to your business. They offer the unique opportunity to reach a diverse group of people. Due to this fact it is important to stand out and be memorable. While having a professional trade show display and attractive booth is important for this, it is even more important to reach out to potential customers in order to stick out from the competition, as well as maintaining their support.
Not properly following up with your trade show leads could mean lost opportunities for your business. To make the most of your trade shows, here are five tips to nurturing leads.
Categorizing Your Leads.
By the end of a single day at a trade show, there is a good chance that each ambassador has spoken to nearly a hundred potential customers and clients. Following up with all of them can seem like an intimidating undertaking for ambassadors. Just do not forget that reaching out again can be crucial to securing these new customers. All that is needed is a system to prioritize these new contacts in order to efficiently complete the sale. A good starting point is to rank each new lead as cold, medium, and hot. Hot meaning that the potential client seemed very interested, cold meaning that they are skeptical, and medium meaning that they fall somewhere in between the two poles. The hot contacts should be the first that are reached out to because they will most likely be the easiest sales. After all, interest on their part is the most valuable quality in any new lead.
It is also important that the brand ambassador who spoke with the contact and collected their information should be the individual who follows up with them after the trade show. They are the one who made the personal connection in the first place, which will put the contact at ease. Consistency is important for this reason.
Prepare Your Brand Ambassadors and Staff to Ask the Right Questions.
It is important to make a good impression on new contacts and potential clients when at a trade show. One of the best ways to do this is to let the prospect do the majority of the talking. This will place the emphasis on them while also allowing the client to feel like they are being properly heard rather than just being sold something. A good rule is to let them do 80 percent of the talking while the staff does only 20 percent of the talking. So listen to them! Do not interrupt, and make notes about their needs and wants. This will actually be very helpful because it lets brand ambassadors figure out what aspect of the brand will be most appealing to each individual. They will also be able to discuss quality, cost, function, and how they relate best to each person.
But don’t forget to have an open conversation with the clients. While it is important to sell the product or brand, do not promise features that do not exist. This will be damaging to the brand’s reputation in the long run and result in a one-time customer. Brand loyalty is important to sustaining a company, and deceitful behaviour does not promote this feeling.
Take Detailed Notes For Each Lead.
We already discussed how it is important to categorize leads as they are made into one of three options, but don’t be afraid to make more notes about them. This will help you stand out from the rest of the competition when following up this them. You should be taking notes about their needs and wants when speaking with them at the trade show, so the easiest way to figure out what to mention when reaching out is to mark the notes you take during the show. Mark each client’s notes with their name and then distinguish their contact information. Doing this let you know what to mention when reaching out to them after the trade show.
Each lead most likely spoke to a number of similar companies and services at the show so your email should contain a specification of who you are and who you are with. Place this after the greetings. If able, attach a picture of the booth to the email so that they are better able to recall the conversation. Then reiterate the conversation and the reasons why your company and brand is a good fit for their needs. This level of personalization will let customers know that they are important and will be heard.
Create a Follow-Up Plan.
There are so many leads after a trade show that it is a good idea to create a plan to follow in order to efficiently reach out to everyone.
- Start by creating a spreadsheet and entering in all of the information available. List facts like “name,” “company,” “needs,” “wants,” “email,” “phone number.”
- Then rank them as hot, cold, or medium as discussed. It they are a friend or influencer be sure to make a note of that as well.
- Then create a schedule or timeline for when to reach out to all of the leads. For instance, the “hot” leads should be followed up immediately. These are the ones that are looking to buy soon, and you want to be the one that wins the sale. Take more time on the medium leads, they want time to think it over. Around a month is a good time to follow up with these.
- Make sure that influencers are followed up with regardless of their assigned temperature. They are good contacts to have.
Tailor a Message to Each Group.
It is important to personalize messages slightly for each lead. This will increase sales by showing the lead how the brand is perfectly suited for them. That being said, it is a good idea to have a message template as a starting point. For “hot leads” send them a message similar to the one below shortly after the show:
“Hello (Lead’s name) this is (Staff Member’s Name) from (Name of Brand). Thanks again for stopping by our booth display at the (trade show name), it was good speaking with you about (The Lead’s Wants/Needs). We’re the company that (Reiterate Product or Service), and we think we’d be a great fit for you.
It is necessary to follow up with trade show leads in order to create new business and even to maintain old connections. Not doing this will lead to missed opportunities and business lost to the competition.