Some businesses invest a lot of money in exhibiting at trade shows to raise brand awareness and attract new customers. The goal is to eventually drum up more business and ultimately see profits increase. However, for whatever reason, a trade show may not play out as well as you’d expected.
Whether this is because of a poor turn out or uninterested visitors, you may feel disappointed with the number of leads accumulated. However, if you’re proactive in reaching out to potential clients, there’s no reason why you can’t turn things around.
Here’s how to successfully convert leads after a lukewarm trade show:
1. Divide Your Leads Into Cool, Warm and Hot
Strategically divide your leads into the most hopeful, ones who are unsure and others that showed no immediate interest but still exchanged with you their business card. The needs of each group are slightly different, meaning that your sales team need to employ various tactics when communicating with them. From here, you can then begin to contact them.2. Contact the Most Promising Leads First
A good lead may not stay that way forever, act quickly to close the deal. The quicker you contact a primed lead, the higher the chances of success – particularly if they seem ready to buy. Hand those leads to your sales team first, focusing on these before moving onto the colder leads.
Every trade show will bring out some people who are on the surface very enthusiastic but are actually quite a cool lead. Being able to spot this is a talent you should strive towards, but even the best are caught out by a wave of enthusiasm. Contacting them first is not always very useful, but at the very least you can find out that they are, in fact, a cold lead sooner rather than later. And you also won’t be losing out on much, as you will have left colder leads until last anyway.
3. Entice Cold Leads with Special Offers
If you feel like a potential customer could be persuaded with the right offer, then cater to their wants and needs by providing special offers or benefits. You can do this by sending emails as part of a campaign to all your cold leads or make it more personal with a phone call.
Instead of immediately starting with a sales pitch, try contacting their staff with tempting free offers and helpful questions. It may simply be the case that you need to develop a relationship with the customer before they feel comfortable enough to commit to your products or service.
4. Don’t Harass Potential Customers
It’s important to contact customers in moderation. Though it’s a good idea to remain at the forefront of their mind with friendly reminders and emails, it can become overwhelming and somewhat annoying very quickly. To avoid things turning sour, don’t harass potential customers. Indeed, they may be leading busy lives and simply haven’t had the time to respond to your correspondence. However, in some cases, they may not be interested in what you’re offering them. Chasing dead leads is a waste of your time, so avoid this at all costs. You can, however, ask them whether they think it would be worth trying again in a few months or so.
5. Don’t Fail to Get Back to People
Don’t start slacking once you’ve converted your warmer leads. Keep on top of emails and always reply back to those who have taken the time to send you a message – even if it’s just a query. Persistence is key, especially in a B2B world. Follow up promptly and in the correct manner to maintain a good relationship with the client.
If you collect a variety of leads, then keeping track of them can obviously be difficult. Which is why having dedicated lead retrieval software can be of paramount importance. This is a digital solution to a fairly simple issue as a collection of business cards, scribbled information and the like is not conducive to a smooth pipeline. Bartizan's iLeads app, for example, is ideal for helping you capture all of your trade show leads without any of the fuss - whether on your work phone or personal!
At the end of the day, not every tradeshow will be a fabulous success and unfortunately, that is something we need to accept. However, there is nothing saying we can’t make the best of the situation at hand and try to make the most of the leads we do gain.
Author Bio: Zack Halliwell is a freelance writer in the business and tech niche. He covers topics including mobile app development, social media marketing and freelancing.