The competition bowl is filled to the brim – with business cards from guests who want to win an iPad. But will they also buy your products?
The business cards will not provide you with any clues concerning this.
It is a fact that many companies see a huge potential regarding the follow-up activities and the cultivation of the leads they collect through their face-to-face marketing activities. They make a great effort to create the optimal setting regarding the trade show booth and leads are collected in big quantities.
Another fact is that quite a few companies do not manage to follow up on all the leads collected. And the reasons are many.
Busyness when returning to the office after the trade fair is one reason.
The responsibility nor the procedures for following up are systemized are another reason.
Suddenly 2000 leads who we were excited about can become a nightmare for even the best seller! The thought of how long it will take to follow up on all of them and what it will cost, well no one dares to imagine that.
However, imagine if we managed to qualify the leads that were collected!
Now imagine if we could turn the 2000 business cards in the competition bowl into a card index of relevant and mature leads. And imagine if we might even be able to handle the first follow-up before the guest has left the booth!
We believe that this is the future. The energy required to follow up on leads that are not relevant is too costly.
The business cards in the competition bowl do not tell us anything about visiting guests’ interest in our company or products – so save the effort!
Use digital resources to qualify the collected leads. Ask guests simple questions, use gamification, create a specific event hashtag or create a QR code to have guests access exclusive content.
Collect the data digitally, in an app, in an Excel sheet, or similar and connect with a lead management or customer relationship managent (CRM) system.
It offers several benefits:
The qualifying questions are not difficult. It’s about asking what you usually talk to your customers about. Product interest, buying intentions, role in the buying process, permission for digital follow-up, and so on. All good suggestions to qualifying questions
Experience shows that conversion rates in this approach to lead generation create results in a completely different league.
It can often be difficult for a company to understand and accept that 200 is better than 2000. Therefore, it is relevant to convert the number of leads collected into revenue and ROI and thus make the result of the lead process visible.
And if it is also possible to illustrate how expensive it is for the company to follow up on unqualified managers, it becomes quite clear to most why 200 leads are better than 2000!
With explicit goals and a well-defined target group, motivated staff, and systematic (and digital) collection of leads, the follow-up will be piece of cake. The only thing it requires is that you have complete control over these 5 areas:
Which leads do you need to take home to achieve your goals – what characterizes a good, hot lead for you?
What information do you need to collect about your guests/leads, in order to be able to follow up purposefully – what do you need to remember to get answers to and permission for?
What will you follow up with and how will you send out the material? Have brochures, prices, pdfs, etc. ready before you leave.
How do you collect leads to streamlining the following-up process – do you have the right (digital) tools available?
Who does what, when? How do you easily and quickly get your leads into your CRM so that they are part of the existing sales process?
Easy and targeted follow-up starts before the fair. Mindset, ownership, internship, and time in the calendar must be aligned and fine-tuned so that your promises do not become unmanageable to keep when you return from the fair.
And just to return to my friend from the Euro Shop – my path to becoming a customer with him, could have been much smoother if he had been completely focused on the above 5 areas – and had he kept what he promised …
Learn how to create better lead generation at your trade fair stand.
Trade show equipment and materials are secondary. Value creation is primary.
Build an effective lead generation funnel and STOP missing out on potential customers.
You’ll gain practical knowledge and skills that you can apply immediately into your work:
Understand best practices within lead generation
How to develop a lead generation plan
How to measure your trade show success
How to continuously improve your efforts