As is the case in many tasks, the amount of work put into the task or project yields an equivalent output. This is true also for exhibiting at an expo; the “behind-the-scenes” planning and exhibiting produces an output, and that output is leads.
The best and most prosperous veteran and rookie exhibitors will have retained lots of trade show leads by the end of the expo due to the work put in pre-show and during the show. That seems fair enough - for all the work your company put in for show planning, booth design, booth and presence optimization, as well as actually selling and exhibiting your company as best as possible, the appropriate amount of leads should be earned.
So, great! Your company has just come back from a successful show. Everything ran smoothly, your booth looked immaculate on the show floor, and your company now has a healthy-sized list of leads from visitors flocking to your exhibit. Now what?
One huge mistake that is often made by trade show rookies is the lack of post-show planning. Review the "clients into leads" trade show training below to ensure the optimization of your trade show experience:
- CREATE A COURSE OF ACTION BEFORE EXHIBITING.
In nearly all things, it is better to plan than to wait and deal with potential obstacles as they arrive. Weeks, or even better, months before the show, establish a plan of action for turning the leads gained from the show into clients. The worst thing you could do post-show is remain stagnant. Formulate a strategy with your company’s sales team on tackling each lead. Perhaps, start with a simple “Thank You for Visiting Us at [Blank] Expo” email. Having a course of action in place will not only sort out your serious and not-so-serious leads, but will build a rapport with those potential trade show clients.
- COLLECT THE LEADS IN A CONSCIENTIOUS MANNER.
What is meant by “a conscientious manner”? It means collecting the right information from your visitor. Before the show, evaluate the motivations and desires of the customer:
• Why are they attending the show?
• What is their “buyer persona”?
• Does their buyer persona match a buyer persona created by your company?
• If not, do you need to expand your company’s personas?
• How do they prefer to be contacted - email, phone or snail mail?
- Just like creating a course of action, collecting the right information from leads can both sort out the true potential clients and build trust with these individuals. If your company’s method of contacting leads is focused solely on the best interest of the customer, converting a lead to a client will become more natural.
Above all things, keep the customer in mind. The customer was drawn to your company’s exhibit for a reason – don’t spoil the chance of gaining a new client by failing to foster leads!