There is perhaps no more important part of your trade show presentation than the follow-up. Let me repeat that . . . There is perhaps no more important part of your trade show presentation than the follow-up. There is little point in going through all the expense, hard work, and hassles that come with exhibiting if there is no follow through. Just as your Mom always reminded you to send a thank you note, so you should reach out to all the leads and contacts acquired during the show.
Hopefully, you and your staff took extensive notes on a preformatted lead form or on an electronic lead generation slip during the show. This will make follow up much more efficient. Details matter and within a day or two, often within hours, you will forget about specific conversations. At a successful show, you may speak to several hundred prospects. No one can be expected to recall every conversation. After the show, these details make the difference between a productive follow up conversation with the prospective client and starting from scratch.
You may be tired from the show and from traveling, but your first task must be to take any appropriate actions on your leads. If you waste time, your competitors will beat you to the potential customer!
There are many ways to follow-up with your leads. Sending a thank you note or email is always a classy way to go. Include a personalized message; don’t just dash off some generic greeting. And, always, always spell people’s names correctly! Nothing will turn off a prospect faster than seeing their name mangled. It smacks of rank amateurism.
Send out a more elaborate follow-up package to your most promising leads, consisting of a cover letter, promotional literature, a catalog, and a personalized thank-you note. You can calibrate each follow-up packet according to interest level, while tailoring it to the specific products or services each customer inquired about. It is important for your staffers to keep track of all this information while the chaos of the trade show is swirling about them.
Consider sending product samples out to prospective customers to pique their interest. After sending out your first wave of follow-up materials, call your most promising leads. Ask them if they would like to set up an appointment to discuss the products they expressed interest in at the show. Be vigilant in pursuing those leads! Remember, the moment the show ends, the hard work begins.
For more information about trade show or event marketing, give us a call or Contact Us. We welcome the opportunity to assist you with your next show.