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Follow Up Strategies - Close Trade Show Sales
By Mark S. A. Smith   Printer Friendly Version

Often, you'll close sales after the show is over. Here are four strategies you can use to maximize your trade show investment.

Start before the show
Lead management starts before you go to the show. Decide who you'll see and what follow-up packages they'll need. Do you need a special package for management, technical evaluators, and end users? Estimate how many you'll need and get them ready. Make sure there are enough literature, samples, evaluation units, and sales force to follow up properly.

Get packages out immediately
During a busy show, have someone enter the leads into a computer at the show. Or express the leads back to your office for entry there. In any case, get the follow-up packages out immediately.

When you follow up promptly, visitors perceive that's how you do business. A study by TARP showed that when a customer gets immediate response from a company, 95 percent of the time they would do business with that company.

The follow-up call
If visitors want something from you, such as your give-away or a sample, they tend to tell you what they think you want to hear. This means you'll get hot leads that aren't really hot. On the other hand, some visitors downplay their readiness to buy to keep sales people from "attacking". It's difficult to get a good indication of a visitor's buying temperature.

So, to re-qualify your visitors, call them five days after the show. Ask them if they got what they needed in the follow-up package, and check their interest level. Ask them when you should call them next.

Mail forever
Continuously mail information to your prospect. Send them press releases, new product information, articles about your company and products, and other trade show activities. Feed them bite size pieces of information so that when they're ready to buy, they prefer your company.

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