So you attended this really big trade show you made a lot of connections your exhibit is all packed up, you’re saving it for the next event, your sales team is headed home and and you’re trying to figure out what to do with this big stack of business cards that you’ve collected or if it’s Excel spreadsheet or whatever it is and how are you going to tackle this large list of leads. And that’s what I want to help you uncover in this post.
The big question the executives want to know is what did we do with all that leads and how are we going to generate some cash from investing whether it’s 50,000 or five hundred thousand dollars on a trade show. Right? That’s the goal that they’re after and it’s your job is the marketer to figure out whether or not this is going to help generate more cash or was it just a big waste of funny.
So what I’m going to tell you here today is that you need a solid strategy in order to make the most of this investment whether it’s a trade show you you did locally or is one you flew across the country. All right. So I’m gonna give you some practical steps that you can use so that your next trade show is going to be a much better success than some of the past ones you may have had.
All right, research has shown that majority of the leads generated from a trade show never receive proper follow-up. That’s the reason most of the disconnect is happening from generating the leads to actually closing a sale whether it’s a month later or a year later.
I want to give you some practical steps as to how you can solve this in your future. So my first recommendation is to plant way in advance of attending a trade show. And you have to have a goal before you and attend it or exhibit as to what you would like to accomplish after the show, what is the goal of us attending there is it certain amount of leads is it brand awareness is it X amount of sales that you want to close after the fact.
If you could do that for yourself and your team I think you’ll have way better success in your next show. You know the prompt response after the show is very critical to closing the sale. So the first step in that is to gather all your contacts put in your crm system whatever it is that you have and then figure out how you can segment them between hot and cold leads.
Whether it is someone who’s going to buy now or they’re going to need three months to kind of figure out whether or not this is a good solution for their business. And once that’s done I would recommend designing some sort of a follow a plan that is specific to the group. Specific to the people that are going to buy now that our partners maybe they’re going to be affiliated maybe they’re going to be instant customers depending on the group that the person belongs in you need to make sure that you’re going to have some sort of a follow up system in place that it doesn’t have to be from a marketing automation system it could be manual.
But you have to design it and map it out so you understand exactly what’s going to happen to what group of people it’s not you’re going to get all these contacts and not sure what you’re going to do. And if that’s the case what you’re going to do is you’re going to get 2,000 people’s contact and you’re going to send them all the same message. And then you wonder why you didn’t get the sale at the end of the year. You know.
So designing that follow-up system by group is very very important even before you get all of these people’s information. Once you’ve designed a follow-up system you want to personalize the emails that they’re going to be getting as much as possible. Whether it’s the subject line or the first sentence, the first paragraph ,or all of it has to be very very custom tailored to the prospect who you had a conversation with. You know in marketing you should try to accomplish one thing at a time from your marketing so if it’s an email marketing you really want them to show them one offer ,and maybe it’s one call to action, you want to guide the person into doing one thing.
Whether it’s your video strategy or your landing page or your email marketing. It’s all about trying to get them to do one action at the end of it so if you’re having a trade show you’re sending them a follow-up email you should really try to get them to do one thing whether that is a request a consultation with you or watching video or downloading an additional resources. Your follow-up strategy should really geared having them do one action that way you can track whether or not these people are interested in going further down the funnel so your sales team can get involved and try to close the sale.
See this is one thing that I don’t see a lot of companies doing is nurturing these prospects but you’ve generated from a trade show through linkedin. You realize that these are people and they’re obviously going to be having a linkedin profile and they want to get to know you and your company better the right SDR the sales development rap or the right sales team should be nurturing them through linkedin not just sending a mass email from the marketing team and I think there’s a big disconnect with what marketing is going to do and what sales is going to do. But this is one thing
That I have seen a lot of companies do I go to trade shows and I always get massive amounts of emails afterwards. None of which are personal into what I talked about none of which are relevant to what I’m trying to do and none of which are really talking individually at me and my needs. And no one really connect me Linkedin say hey was great seeing you at such and such trade show and I think marketers really need to understand that this isn’t like you go to trade show and you get 4,000 contacts or 40,000 contact whatever it might be.
It’s not all treated as one it need to be treated as individual based on their needs and what are they trying to accomplish how they fit your goals and your organization and how they should be treated. Rarely I ever get someone nurturing me through linkedin with additional resources from our conversation at a trade show. Once the initial sort of follow-up series are completed you’re going to definitely need to figure out some sort of long-term journey that you want to put
Write some nurture strategy whether it is five emails and once a month or inviting them to webinar whatever it might be there needs to be something long-term not just this instant short-term you got a burst of activity and then you really have nothing going on and then you wonder why you didn’t get any sales from it.
So planning the long-term nurture is just as important as the instant you know sort of follow-up strategy you’re going to have whether it’s personalized by the salesperson or the marketing team based on their need that they’ve you know really shared at the show. But having that information put into some sort of a long-term strategy.
You shouldn’t also put everybody on the same long-term strategy it needs to be custom tailored to the different kinds of people the different persona of people that you’re going to meet and that long-term strategy is going to get a lot of busy people seeing your content over time and getting interested and maybe making money based on the investment that you had from the trade show in the first place. You don’t have to be the booth at the trade show or have a very large 250 people dinner or give-away-a-car to be successful.
Almost any company can be successful in trade shows if they can have the right strategy, develop a very solid strategy, execute it, and follow up through the entire process that you built for your post straight your marketing. That’s going to get you there are away that you’re looking for. So I hope you enjoyed it and I hope that your next trade show is going to be more successful than the last.