One of the most overlooked aspects of trade shows is following up on leads obtained from the event in a timely manner.
If you want more bookings and sales from your trade show/exhibit efforts, you need to know…
Follow-up is vital to your success!
Over 80% of trade show leads are NOT followed up.
Why do most trade show exhibitors fail to follow up?
- They return from the show to find their inbox full of emails and have to catch up on their current projects and sales.
- They assume that all the people they met at the trade show will call them because they gave them a brochure or business card… and they are certain they’d remember their business.
- They didn’t plan for follow-up before the show. Tip: Have your strategy/plan ready to go and schedule time on your calendar to take action after the show!
With the short attention span of people today, it takes several times seeing your name to make a lasting impression. Thus, post-show follow-up needs to include a multiple contact “touch” plan.
A winning strategy to make the most of your trade show leads.
Here’s Your Marketing BFF’s winning ‘SIMPLE’ tradeshow follow up strategy:
- Within 48 hours send a thank you. Email all attendees who provided contact information (regardless of whether they are good prospects or not).
- Say “Thank You” for stopping by our booth.
- Extend the offer of the trade show.
- Offer your product/service solutions.
- Ask them to LIKE your Facebook page.
- Tell the reader that you will be in contact in the next couple of weeks, but if they need you before that to not hesitate to call.
BFF Advice: To qualify trade show leads properly, take notes about certain hot prospects…what they want, connections that you’ve made, important things to do, etc. If you’re doing a giveaway and are collecting lead information this way – simply write on the back of their entry form!
Tip: Categorize leads each day. I like to sort my leads into three large ziplock bags (one labeled HOT, one MEDIUM, one COLD). Sorting the contacts at the end of each trade show day will make your life easier, trust me!
- Within 2 weeks after the show a phone call.
“Hi, my name is Tana with Your Marketing BFF. I’m calling to personally thank you for stopping by our booth at (name of the show) & to follow-up on the email I sent last week…
This is a great opportunity for you to provide:
- A quick personal “thank you”.
- Extend the offer of the trade show…this offer is only available through (next two weeks date) Note: this creates urgency.
- Offer your short and to-the-point product/service solutions.
- Arrange a time to meet, discuss next steps or make the sale!
- Within 3 weeks after the show mail a handwritten note/card. A good thing to include is your business card (and a brochure, if you have one).
- A handwritten “it was nice chatting with you on the phone”.
- Your product/service solutions.
- A call to action (offer valid just a few more days, call or email us to schedule your appointment, etc.)
This is a very simple solution and I’ll be the first to say that you could consider adding a few more “touches”.
Whether it’s an email, phone call, handwritten note, postcard/direct mailer, product samples or logo imprinted promotional items sent by mail, each touch shows your prospective customer that you appreciate the time, money, and effort they put into stopping at your trade show booth.
And, don’t forget to include these trade show leads to your existing mailing list. The goal is to cultivate these leads and keep them actively engaged with your company…until they are ready to purchase!
Thinking about following up after your next trade show or exhibit?
Our Trade Show Printable Collection is available in the shop! We’ve made things easy and inexpensive for you – these can be customized and used for emails, postcards, handwritten cards & more!
Special thanks to Rocky Mountain Bridal Show (Denver) for asking us to write this post and providing their exhibitors with some extra special help in 2012!
Photos used in the Contemporary Photo Design courtesy of De La Petite Fine Art Photography.
Photo used in the Geometric Photo Design courtesy of Aria Photography.