I am still amazed at the number of companies that fail to follow up promptly and diligently after their trade mxl tv, which is surely leaving money on the table and wasted opportunity.
Have you ever waited after a trade show that you attended for literature or samples that you had asked for, but which never arrived? Here are some trade show strategies to help you to make the most from your trade show experience-post-show and to increase your return on investment.
Most companies need to have multiple contact or “touches” with prospective vendors before they feel comfortable in purchasing from them. Here are nine ideas to help you capture more post-show sales with very little effort.
1. Send in Leads Daily: Don’t get bogged down with your regular paperwork and activities once you return to the office by trying to tackle a stack of show leads at one time. Many trade shows offer a scanner where you can electronically capture the contact information of the prospect in second by scanning their name tag. Each night, send the file as an attachment to your office, where, hopefully a well-thought out after-show packet is ready to be sent out.
Note: Do not become so enamored with this scanning technology that all your staff does it scan cards and not develop rapport with prospective customers. I have been at shows where neighboring booths compete with each other for most names scanned. Do not opt for quantity over quality of leads.
If a scanner is unavailable, you can buy a business card scanner from Cardscan and attach to your laptop or cell phone, where you can instantly scan in a prospect’s business card and upload your list each night to your office. If you still want to collect business cards, bring a few FedEx envelopes and send them overnight to the office after each day. Speed is critical in showing your professionalism to your clients. It will also set you apart from your competition.
2. Rank Prospects: All prospects are not the same, so devise a method of ranking prospects on the spot. You can attach a questionnaire to their business card or give a score or ranking (on a scale of one to ten) on the back of the cards-with a comment or two. This will help you to determine which prospects should be followed up first.
3. Take Notes on Back of Business Cards: No matter how good your memory is, you will not remember every customer or prospect you meet- and what specifically you discussed, information you promised to send, etc. On the back of their business card, write a one or two line message as a reminder, such as “interested in XYZ machine” or ” wants me to email her specifications on Model B1233 or “deciding between us and Acme CO. and will get back to me in two weeks”.
4. Have Post-Show Kit Ready Ahead of Time: As I mentioned in step one, you should have a complete follow up kit ready to mail out-just waiting for the address label and postage to be applied. That way, your assistant can get the kits out while you are out of town and exude stellar professionalism.
5. Send Lumpy Mail: Flat standard sized envelopes will end up in a pile, unopened for weeks. A padded envelope with an irregularly shaped item inside will get opened immediately. Send an imprinted promotional product, such as an imprinted stress ball or imprinted pen or other unique advertising specialty with your note and catalog – and your package will get opened ahead of all the rest.