Giving some serious thought to trade show display and making a decent investment will certainly attract quite a few visitors to your trade show booth and help you with lead generation, but that’s just about it. Once they are there, it’s up to you and your staff – whatever you do during and after the show could make all the difference – you would either have the visitors turning into customers or you’ll end up with plain cold leads. Sad but true.
Act as quickly as possible
If you think that asking the visitors for their contact details is good enough, think again, it is not – you must work on those details – have a lead generation and nurturing system in place – only then you can expect to do more business. Start early on, and prioritize the leads as soon as you are back from the show. Don’t sit on them or they’ll grow cold. The quicker you follow up, as in reach out to those who visited you at the show, the more are your chances of getting a conversion. They’ll be much more receptive if you give them a call just the next day and are likely to remember meeting you at the show.
However, their contact details are not all that you need – follow a qualification process during the show, or else you’d have a hard time figuring out their budget and whether or not they are in the position to make a decision. Following up would only make sense if you have these details on you.
Don’t shy away from using technology
Believe it or not, but it may take weeks and sometimes even months to nurture the leads – you will follow up, agreed, but that doesn’t mean that the visitors would make a purchase decision there and then – in fact, you may not have the desired outcome during the second or third contact. That’s when a CRM or a Customer Relationship Management system could be of great use. For starters, it’ll help you further qualify the leads as per their individual requirements and devise a strategy of sorts to gain their trust. Secondly, you’ll be able to track – just enter the details you have, and voila! You now have on record where did you meet them and if they have moved up any further in your sales curve. The CRM would especially come in handy when the visitors want you to take it slow and need some time before they finally decide to purchase.
Relying solely on phone calls is a big no-no
Send them emails – after all, they are one of the most effective tools for making the initial contact and act as great reminders. Take full advantage. This is what your email must include:
A reiteration of the recipient’s needs
A clear picture as to how your products or offerings are a sure shot way of fulfilling those needs
Don’t be too pushy though, and don’t even mistake the email for a means to crack a hard sell. Just try to establish contact with the prospect(s) and cultivate a relationship. The sale would come your way on its own.
Don’t give up or give in – either way, you lose
More often than not, the exhibitors reach out to the prospects only once or twice, and then give up. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake. Rather, have your lead nurturing system schedule multiple contacts. Again, the idea here is to instill trust and strengthen the relationship. Also, it’s important that you don’t give in to the prospects’ natural instinct of not doing anything unless they are specifically prompted to. Prompt. Drop a hint at least. Have a call-to-action ready and make it part of every attempt at contacting the prospects.
To cut the long story short, converting visitors into customers is as easy as attracting them to your booth, but you need to take matters into your own hands and more importantly, be patient.