There is no better feeling than wrapping up a trade show with a few pages of new leads. Each one of those leads has the potential to turn into a sale, a lifelong customer or at least a reliable referral. But after the trade show is complete, the most important step becomes the follow-up. Of course, the “follow-up” can be multiple different things. Whether it’s a message on Facebook, a tweet on Twitter, a phone call or an email … these follow-ups can be very tricky. Especially because they are a seriously important part of the trade show experience. Try following these tips to improve your follow-up process:
Gather all of the necessary information at the trade show.
A truly effective follow-up addresses the specific needs and wants of your lead, not just the information you can find on their business card. Do you usually have people fill out a lead form when you meet them at the trade show? Whether you already do or not, you might want to think about revamping your lead form. Try asking multiple choice questions to save them time and include a “notes” section that leaves them room to write down some specifics. Overall, try to keep the form short but gather enough information for you to form a solid follow-up.
Get your timing right.
We all know how eager we feel to get in touch with a new lead but reaching out right away might not be the absolute best idea. Would you want one more email flooding your inbox on that morning after you return to work from the trade show? Probably not. Be patient and wait until later in the week to reach out. Hopefully then your lead will have more time to chat!
After you’ve already met a lead in person, a canned email might not be the best way to start out your follow-up … especially because they’ll notice it right away and probably ignore it. It’s okay to use the same base of an email but it’s important to add some personal notes if possible. The staff member that met them at the trade show can take a minute after the conversation is over to jot down a few notes on their lead form. That way, the staff member will have some details to help remember them when they go to reach out and follow-up. Including these details is a great idea, as it will help the lead remember you and your booth. It’s also a great idea to include something enticing that pertains to them!
Connect on social media.
Not all of your leads will be ready for a phone call or email from you so it might be a good idea to start somewhere a little less formal, like social media. Connect with leads on your social media platforms and invite them to like your company page so they can get to know your brand and the services you offer without having to talk directly to you or your staff. Eventually, when they are in need of your services, they’ll hopefully turn to you over your competitors.
Thoughtful follow-ups have the power to turn leads into real, buying customers. And that’s the goal, right? Following these tips and planning your follow-up strategy in advance will allow you and your staff to make the most out of your trade show attendance.