14. March 2012 19:47
The pre-show promotion was a hit. The exhibit looked awesome. The booth staff was pumped. It was standing room only for the clients and prospects that visited your trade show display. Now the real work begins.
Build Trust Immediately
Developing a relationship with your prospects requires trust. Swift follow-up is the first step toward building trust. Your visitors have met with your staff, seen your products and services and asked to receive more information, pricing, and perhaps even a meeting. Your prospects trust you will continue the dialogue that was started during the event - - so don’t disappoint them. Send a personalized email message confirming your next step during the show or within 24 hours of their visit.
Distribute Leads Quickly
Have a plan for processing your valuable trade show leads BEFORE you go to the show. Appoint individual(s) to receive the leads, get them out to your sales team and into your database on a timely basis. Review how a surge in leads will be processed to prevent them from getting bogged down by internal bottle necks.
Follow Up Repeatedly
Over 90% of business gained from trade shows is the result of follow-up efforts. According to a survey of business-to-business marketers, on average, 10-30% of leads are sales ready and another 50% will eventually purchase.
Research indicates the average sale happens after the 5th contact. The average sales person tends to give up too soon and doesn’t make a second attempt to connect with prospects. Work with your sales managers to establish accountability for, and monitor, follow-up. Sales coaches suggest that the prime time for connecting with prospects is between meetings like early in the morning, during lunch and late in the afternoon.
As for the 50% of visitors that don’t have an immediate requirement, nurture them until they are ready. Keep in touch with prospects over the longer term. Be persistent but not pushy. Let your prospects know how you can help solve their business challenges so that when they are ready to buy they think of you.