Tips for Trade Show Success: Part IIIMarch 22, 2016
Angelyn DeYoung is the International Trade Manager for the Office of Trade & International Relations
Follow-up dos and don’ts
The trade show has ended and you are excited to follow up on all the leads generated at the show. Here are some tips to help make your time and investment at the show pay off:
- Personalize the follow up. Remember those notes you took as they walked away? Now is the time to use them. Your follow-up should reference your discussion, using their name and the needs that they indicated at the show, offering your products/services as a solution.
- Research your lead. Search their web presence (website, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to find any conversation points or ferret out any needs that your products/services can meet. Use this to personalize your follow-up and to further that relationship.
- Conduct multi-channel follow-up. Sending out one email post-show doesn’t cut it anymore. Put together a post-show schedule for email, phone, and/or in person follow-up, as warranted by the buyer’s potential for your company.
Don’t make these rookie mistakes:
- Don’t over follow-up, adding this buyer to your database for daily or weekly blast emails. Remember to personalize! However, there is a delicate balance here between persistence and over-follow-up. It’s appropriate to be persistent with your follow-up, continuing to qualify the buyer as you communicate with them after the show. Find out their stage in the buying process (i.e. are they ready to buy now or in five years) and let that guide the frequency of your follow-up.
- Don’t pounce on responses. If a buyer does respond to your follow-up, don’t jump on them and start your used car salesman pitch on them. Remember, this is about forming a relationship; again, here is that delicate balance: be persistent and helpful but not pushy.
Within a week after the show, or perhaps at dinner with your staff the night after the show, evaluate the show and how it met your company’s needs. Don’t wait six months…you’ll forget! Look at your return on investment: were you able to meet the right buyers, and do you think any of those will convert into sales? Are you going to go again next year? If so, are you going to change any aspect of your booth or your approach at the show? These few questions will help you be better prepared for next year’s show, or help you to find a better show for your company in the future.
If you are interested in other ideas for trade show success, from selecting an event to successful participation and follow-up, check out my free trade show training webinar .