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If your first thoughts about tradeshow sales lead follow-up occur only as work crews start furiously rolling up the carpets and tearing down exhibits around you, you ‘re in trouble.

Effective tradeshow follow-up begins long before the last business card is exchanged, long before the last farewell to your fellow exhibitors. Follow-up preparation begins before the tradeshow and continues as the show progresses.

Set Goals
Going into a show you must have written goals. Showing the flag is not a goal. (“We’ve got to be there: all our competitors will be attending, and people will think something is wrong if we don’t show up.”) Acquiring new customers is. Regaining lost customers is a good goal. Retaining current customers is as well.

Add Value. When following up on a lead, focus on this question: What can I offer this prospect that will add value to his product or service and help differentiate it from those of his competitors? You may not have been able to sufficiently analyze his problem on the spot on the tradeshow floor. In the follow-up phase you have the opportunity to do this and to offer the value add that will begin a “decade-plus customer” relationship.

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