Having a booth at tradeshows, expos and conferences can be a great way to develop leads, but all of your efforts will be wasted if you stop working once the party is over.
Here are the 4 things you should be doing when the event is over:
Don’t Waste Leads
Oftentimes, more than half of the contacts that are made at a show are wasted because salespeople don’t follow up, and marketing doesn’t have a plan to stay in front of them. Everything you have done up to this point will not necessarily get you a sale. It’s what you do after the show, when you get back to your office, where you start getting results. While you likely won’t close sales instantly after the show, you can gauge the results of the event by number of booth visits, qualified leads for follow up, and number of total contacts.
Clean Your List Data
You’re gathering contact information from event-goers throughout the show. Whether it’s business cards or badge scanning devices, your booth helps you develop a list of great leads. After you leave the conference, you’ll have a nice list of leads in hand. However, importing of mass lists is a very common cause of duplicate records. In addition, the leads may come in various forms, from excel files to direct imports into your CRM. Nothing will undermine or torpedo your revenue like bad data.
Prevent bad data by using helpful importing applications, such as Unique Upload, to simultaneously prevent the creation of duplicate records while uploading lists into your CRM, such as Salesforce. Applications like these can clean the lists — whether they’re Excel files or other formats — before you import them. Powerful options allow you to control what happens when duplicates or related records are found.
Schedule time on your calendar for the follow-up. Give hot prospects a day to get back to their office and then call them. Create a lead nurturing campaign for the new contacts that are not hot leads. Start the campaign as soon as the event is over. Connect with all of the qualified prospects via social media and send a follow-up email or mailing. Send a “nice to see you at the show” message with a link to a relevant whitepaper, article, or some other useful piece of information to show your value before you try to sell. If you have a special offer as part of the show, remind them that there’s still time to take part, and note the expiration date. No matter the message or how you reach out, it must be planned. Don’t just put them on your mailing list and spam them. Don’t give up. People are busy and purchasing your product may not be their top priority.
Plan to Call 3-6 Times
Call your qualified leads at least three to six times over the next 30 to 60 days. Plan a series of great voicemail messages if you don’t reach them. Make the messages interesting, engaging and about them – not you, your product or your service. Make each message unique, because they don’t want to hear the same message each time.
If you never connect via phone or between calls, send them an email or mail with some useful information, and ask them to opt in to your newsletter or sign up for your blog. Connect on LinkedIn. Going forward, stay connected on social media, and find opportunities to interact with them. They may need your product in the future, at which time they will be more apt to respond.
Here’s a quick checklist to follow after your event:
- Follow up on hot leads within 3 days
- Contact all of the people you met
- Send follow up mail/email
- Incentivize them to join your email list
- Stay in touch over time
Learn more about exhibiting at tradeshows with the free ebook below.