One main goal for attending trade shows is to collect leads that will eventually turn into sales. By focusing on quality leads, the time and money you invested in the trade show will pay off.
Here are some tips to help you make sure you’re getting high-quality leads:
1. Ask the right questions
Ask open-ended questions that will encourage conversation and collect what you need to determine whether the lead is good or bad. Don’t start with questions like “May I help you?” Some people might expand and say yes, most will use this as an out and end the conversation.
Instead, say something like “What are you hoping to get out of this trade show?” Once they start to talk, you can see what they’re really looking for. Ask specific questions from then on to try to figure what you can do to help them. By the end of the conversation, you should be able to answer these questions:
- Do they need your services?
- Are they the decision-maker?
- What’s the biggest issue they’re facing?
- When will they make their decision?
2. Adjust your sales pitch
Your company may offer one or two services or hundreds of products and services. Whichever the case, it’s not a “one size fits all.” Make sure you really listen to what your client needs, and give them the information that’s most useful to them. Don’t overwhelm them with random information. Their time is valuable and so is yours. You should focus on addressing their needs right away.
3. Be a great representative of your company
Some people might not know about your company. Meeting you is their first encounter with your brand. Introduce yourself and realize that while you’re at the trade show, you’re the face of the company. How you act will help determine whether they want to do business with you.
To build a relationship with someone, they have to like and trust you. Don’t be a pushy salesperson because no one likes that. Instead, be friendly and informative and focus on teaching them about your products rather than pushing them. People are more likely to listen and will feel more at ease with you. Whether they need your products or not, you want them to walk away with a good impression of your company.
4. End the conversation gracefully
Thank them for their time and for chatting with you. Make sure you exchange information. Ask if it would be OK to follow up with them after the trade show. If possible, set up a meeting then and there. It doesn’t have to be face-to-face but maybe you can set up a phone call. Even if they don’t want to set up a meeting, they’ll probably be OK with a follow-up email.
5. Focus on quality not quantity
There will be hundreds of people at a trade show and though you might be tempted to focus on quantity, quality is more important. High-quality leads will benefit your company by bringing in revenue. If you go into a trade show with the “more the merrier” mentality and focus on getting as many business cards as possible, you might be hurting your team. You don’t want to waste your time or your sales team’s time by chasing dead-end leads.
6. Document your conversations
Because you’ll be meeting so many people, you might not remember everyone you spoke to when you get back to your office. Try to document your conversation in some form.
We aren’t saying you should write a two-page report on every person you speak with. But if they answered any of your questions, such as when they’ll make a decision, this is information you want to remember. Use apps or websites that can help you keep track of your leads or write down what you want to remember on their business card.
7. Organize your leads
Once you’re back at the office, you’ll be trying to catch up on work you missed. But you need to make sure find time to contact your leads.
If you organize your leads into those that need immediate attention and those that are good, you’ll waste less time. This will also help you stay focused.
Don’t dismiss “bad leads” right away, though. Keep the information on file because you never know if something will come up in the future where they need your products.
8. Send a personal follow-up
If you send a blast email after a trade show like everyone else, chances are it won’t be read. Instead, send out a personal email with details about the conversation you had. Try to be as specific as possible. If they mentioned a recent promotion or that they’ve been busy with a specific project, weave it into the conversation. They’ll know that you actually took time to reach out and that you remember them. They’re far more likely to react positively and be more open to speaking with you.
Although collecting leads is important, remember to have fun and to enjoy yourself. Meeting new people shouldn’t be a dreaded task if you have the right attitude and approach.
What has your experience at trade shows been like? Please add to the conversation in the comment section below the red box.