5 Steps to Successful Trade Show Follow Up by Jae-ann Rock

Posted on Jun 10, 2014 in Archive

You’ve attended a trade show, met a number of prospects (hopefully!), and now it’s time to follow up.  So, how can you maximize your trade show ROI?  How soon should you follow up and what approach should you use after the show?

Below are five important tips to successful trade show follow up, plus a few bonus ideas to help you get the most out of every conference lead…

5 Keys to Successful Trade Show Follow Up:

  1. Sort and Qualify Trade show Leads.  Immediately categorize your show leads into hot, warm and cold categories.  (Designating each A, B, C will do.)
  • A Leads: You had a conversation with them at the show and they were interested in your offering.  Sort out these “hot” leads from the batch, and follow up within 3 business days with a personal phone call, followed by a custom email addressing their needs/interests.  Reference your discussion from the conference.  Insure receipt of your emailed information, answer any questions they may have had, and learn more about the prospect’s potential needs or interests. Invite them to join an upcoming webinar or demo call.
  • B Leads: These are contacts with whom you had a conversation, but they do not have an immediate need. Follow up with a standard “intro” email within 3-5 business days after the show.  Add a custom note if possible, referencing your conversation from the show.  Provide a link for them to easily request more information and/or schedule a demo call.  Follow up on any responses via phone within 24 hours of reply.  Add them to your email marketing list and schedule for a monthly nurture call or email to provide value and keep a pulse on their changing needs
  • C Leads: For all other conference leads, research the company and/or the contact name you received.  Determine if they could be a real prospect for your company, or if they are a “junk” lead.  (Note: if you find 15% or more are “junk” leads, call Mentor Tech Group for a high-quality, targeted list of corporate training and HR decision-makers.  We have the decision-maker contact information you need.)
  1. Follow Up in a Timely Fashion. Don’t wait weeks to follow up with trade show prospects. Time is of the essence.  Send a post-show “thank you” email, simply thanking prospects for their time at the show, include any promised literature and a link to schedule a call if they’d like more information immediately.  Use the follow up timing guide below, based on lead quality, and add any qualified leads to your email marketing list and long term nurture campaigns.
  2. Multiple outreaches are best.  Before the show, create a multi-pronged conference follow-up plan that includes a schedule of phone, email and social media outreach to make a lasting impression.   Have an arsenal of value-added content ready to leverage for post-show follow up… More on this below.
  3. Provide Value at Every Touch.  Provide value-added content each time you reach out to follow up.  Offer a helpful article, links to key pages on your company website, a white paper to help prospects navigate a common industry challenge. As a rule, provide tips, ideas or current topics of interest related to your prospect’s business and/or their industry.  (See #5 below.)
  4. Nurture, Foster, Persist!
  • Nurture the leads. Don’t try to “sell” your conference prospects.  Only a small percentage of leads are ready to buy at any given time.  This is why developing a lead nurturing campaign is imperative. Create useful content related to their specific industry or business.  Act as their business consultant, offering something of value at every touch. Nurture and engage leads using content including white papers, webinars, helpful tips and ideas, until they are ready to buy.
  • Foster Relationship Building.  People buy from people they like, so it is important to reach out and personally connect with each prospect directly via phone, LinkedIn, and email.  Create an action plan to place phone calls to each qualified lead within a week after the show.
  • Be Politely Persistent. Don’t give up.  Nurturing leads to the point of a sale can take months or even years.  Be sure not to discard leads due to lack of response.  Continue to provide prospects with value-added content via a newsletter or company blog. Invite them to attend online events, “like” your company’s LinkedIn page, or connect via LinkedIn.

In summary, don’t wait for your prospects to come to YOU after a show!  Have a plan ready and proactively reach out after the show, providing value at every touch.  Keep your company top-of-mind with prospects, so that you’ll become their trusted business advisor so they will think of YOU FIRST when they are ready to buy.

Remember if you can’t FIND the corporate training & HR decision makers you’re looking for, contact us.  We’ve done all the hard work for you…

With key contacts in corporate training and HR, Mentor Tech Group’s market intelligence database includes highly accurate data for the decision-maker contacts you seek!  No more digging for leads!

To arrange a GoToMeeting session to view our database and learn more about Mentor Tech Group’s specialized lists, please contact Mentor Tech Group today at:  marketing@mentortechgroup.com or call us at: at (651) 457-8600.  

We’re here to help you supercharge your sales pipeline, whenever you’re ready.

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