Well it’s all over. You are tired and exhilarated if it has gone well and you head back to the office where there is a mountain of things demanding your attention that you have not had a chance to deal with during the show.
Depending on how you collected leads you have a pile of hand written forms and business cards or a spreadsheet all of which need to be entered into the CRM and dealt with – and then a few days go by and then a few weeks and you still have not had time to deal with them effectively. Sound familiar?
Effective follow up is the most difficult thing to get right and therefore is often the activity that is put on the back burner but this is where you win or lose with regards to getting the most out of a show and therefore needs a high level of attention. When budgeting for a show you need to include the cost of follow up remembering that the leads you have collected could play a major part of your success for the year.
Part Three – After the show
In order to protect your investment you need to remain focused on follow up – the show is not really over until you have dealt with the leads so here is some advice on what to do next.
- It is important to contact everyone immediately. It is amazing how someone who appeared so keen to do business at the show won’t even take your call whereas someone who you graded as a lukewarm opportunity suddenly hots up once you have contacted them. Have a plan already set up and contact everyone the day after the show – send an email or mail everyone thanking them for their time, reminding them of your value proposition and making sure they have your contact details.
- Divide the leads up based on how you graded them and hit the phones. This will quickly tell you where you need to concentrate the sales effort. If you do not have time internally hire a telemarketing company to do it for you. This feedback is invaluable.
- Don’t delay in working the true opportunities – the trouble with leads from a show is that the chances are your competitors are working the same leads and therefore you have to work harder to win the deal. Communication is the key here, call, send information, set up webinars if applicable, but whatever you do communicate and more than once.
- Analyse your success. Did you get the return on investment you wanted? And if not what went wrong? This will allow you to either make better choices of the shows you attend or improve how you worked them.
I love trade shows and I have used them as a salesperson to build my success for the following year – if you prepare, work the show well and follow up effectively your investment will be secure