In part one of this series I mentioned that a successful trade show plan has 3 phases; what you do before the event, during the event and after the event. In part two of the series I gave you some tips on how to utilize the time you have at the show to meet the prospects you planned to meet, attract people to your booth, ask good questions and have time to walk the show. The work you do after the trade show is vital to the success of your plan. Following up correctly and in a timely manner is crucial. All of the hard work you put in before and during the show will pay off if you make sure to follow up.
After the Show
“I would say that more than half the contacts that are made at a show are wasted because the salespeople don’t follow up and marketing doesn’t have a plan to stay in front of them.”
Everything you have done up till this point will not get you sales, unless it was a selling show (most aren’t). It’s what you do when you get back to your office after the show that gets you results.
Did You Hit Your Goals?
Before the show you set goals. Did you hit them? Closed sales are not one of the results you will know instantly but number of visitors, qualified leads for follow up, and number of total contacts are all things you should note.
Some of the contacts you made won’t be “hot” leads but you need a plan to drip on them with your message until the day they will be in need. Connect with all of the qualified prospects via social media and send a follow up email or mail piece. You can send a “nice to see you at the show” message with a link to a whitepaper or an article or some other useful piece of information to show your value before you try to sell. If you offered show special, remind them when it expires.
I would say that more than half the contacts made at a show are wasted because the salespeople don’t follow up and marketing doesn’t have a plan to stay in front of them. All that needs to be planned – don’t just put them on your mailing list and SPAM them.
Plan to Call 6 Times
Call everyone that is a qualified lead – call them at least 6 times over the next 30 to 60 days. Plan a series of great voicemail messages to leave if you don’t reach them. Make the messages interesting, engaging and about them – not you, your product or your service. Make each message you leave unique, they don’t want to hear the same message each time.
If you never connect via phone, then send them an email or mail with some useful information and ask them to opt in to your newsletter or sign up for your blog. Then if they are really someone you want to do business with watch them in the news and on social media and find opportunities to interact with them. They may need your product in the future at which time they will be more apt to respond.
It Just Takes Planning
Trade shows can be a very effective way to increase your sales but they can also be overwhelming. Make sure you can handle all the leads you will get from your trade show efforts. Make a plan so that you get results that make the expense of the trade show worthwhile.
I hope you have learned a few things that you will use to plan your next trade show. You can also view my Slide Share on trade shows.