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.
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.