Posts Tagged ‘lead follow-up’

Don’t make these trade show mistakes!

Posted on: December 2nd, 2015 by admin No Comments

Don’t make these trade show mistakes

You must approach trade shows with focus, determination and with a plan for success. While this may sound easy, it’s surprising how many companies forgo the fundamentals of marketing when planning and producing their trade shows. Conscientious planning for the event involves precise devising, smart promoting, competent lead qualification and impeccable follow up. The level of accomplishment you’ll experience from your trade show is influenced by the amount of energy you put invest…before, during and after the show. Today, I’ll discuss three common oversights trade show marketers are famous for making, and how to avoid them yourself.

Mistake One – Failing to plan in advance9971973_s

Success is not an accident! Accurately identifying your objectives before the show seems simple, right? You want more customers and more sales.  How exactly do you plan achieve these things? More importantly, you must determine your definition of “more.” For instance:

More customers =  “I want to gain 100 new customers.”

More sales = “I want to sell $1000 more at this trade show than the last.”

Once you’ve finalized your goals, you have to focus on how you’ll achieve them.

“To obtain 100 new customers, I will make sure to introduce myself to at least 10 trade show attendees every hour and obtain their contact information.”

“To sell $1000 more at this years show than last years show, I will hold promotions every hour.”

Mistake Two -: Not generating media attention

In today’s virtual world, not all interested customers are at the show in person. I know many people who despise walking a trade show floor. All the stimulation is just too much for them to handle. Instead, they rely on their favorite industry bloggers to report on what’s happening at the show. These reports are published in the form of blogs all over the internet. Often times, live! In recent years, bloggers have begun to make their presence and importance in the industry very well known. If you look closely through the audience, you’ll notice plenty of attendees with badges that say “Press” or “Media.” So, how do you get their attention? Most importantly, how do you make it in their blog? I talk more about gaining media attention here.
Mistake Three- Following up too late

As we’ve discussed in prior articles, most of your energy should be spent attracting and qualifying new leads. While you may make some sales during the show, the real value in participating in the show is found in the leads you develop while showing. It is immature to believe that your phone will just start ringing day in and day out from all of the business cards you passed out. You absolutely must follow up with every person you meet at the trade show. It’s equally as important that you follow up in a timely manner. If you wait too long, another company will grab their attention or they will lose interest altogether. My personal preferred method for follow ups is to send a “Nice meeting you” or “thank you” card the day after the show closes. Depending on where the card is going in the country, I time a follow up phone call to correspond one day after its arrival.

Trade show marketing can seem overwhelming, but with the right strategy, it all falls into place fairly easily. Think it through and follow through!



About the author: William Hall is a seasoned business coach specializing in branding, social media and promotional events. William has spent his career teaching businesses of all sizes how to stand out in the crowd while using marketing dollars most effectively. His clients are continuously thankful for his out-of-the-box ideas that lead to increased revenue, more clicks and a bigger online presence.

Moving Beyond Notes on the Back of Business Cards

Posted on: November 16th, 2012 by admin No Comments

crowd of peopleWant to hear the worst follow-up phone call to a contact you met at a trade show? It goes something like this.

You: Hi, It’s Jason Smith with ABC Company and we met last week at the Green Show.

Contact: Yes I remember you. What can I do for you?

You: We only had a few short minutes to talk about your situation at the show. The purpose of my call today is to arrange to get together to discuss your concerns and see if there is something that I can do to help.

Contact: Sounds good.

You: How about next Wednesday?

Contact: Sure, what time?

So far this sounds pretty good. Now here comes the bad part.

You: Before we commit to a time I have a few quick questions to ask.

Contact: Sure. What do you need to know?

You: What exactly is the scope of the situation you are trying to solve?

Contact: Huh!

You: Where are you located?
Do you make the decisions for this change?
Have you allocated a budget?

Contact: Wait a minute. Didn’t you ask me those questions when we met at the show?

You: Yes, but…

Contact: Why are you asking me again?

The answer to the contact’s last question is simple. You forgot.

The solution is to ensure that you record all of the contact’s information when you first meet so the follow-up phone call can be seamless and simply a continuation of the conversation rather that starting all over again.

Numerous industry studies have shown that nearly eight percent of all leads are mishandled. One of the reasons for this lost opportunity is that the leads collected at the show were less that adequate in the first place.

Taking leads at a trade show is all about quality rather than quantity. A handful of good quality leads puts you in a stronger position to convert those leads to business than a pile of business cards or ballots.

The trick is to ensure that the information learned about the contact is recorded on the spot. One big mistake many exhibitors still make is writing contact information on the back of business cards. There are a number of problems with this:

  1. The back of a business card is small and therefore restricts the amount of information you can record. It also means that without a formal recording tool, business card leads are inconsistent from one to the next. This puts your salespeople or dealers and reps at a disadvantage when they follow up because they know very little about the contact before they make the call.
  2. Many companies print on both sides of their business card. If you had planned to write information on the business card, you are now stuck.
  3. Many companies use electronic business cards. Now you are really stuck
  4. Many cultures take great pride in their business cards and it might be a personal offence to write on the back.

To avoid the business card pitfall ensure that you have arranged to use some form of lead recording technology in your plans. There are three choices:

  1. The electronic lead retrieval system. You have probably seen many of these devices in use. They take the form of scanners, QR readers, Card swipe, Smartphone apps etc. Over all these tools are excellent methods of gathering contact information. Many of these systems can be customized allowing you to enter specific fields of information that will help you when following up.
  2. A manual lead sheet. This is a simple low-tech solution for those situations where your organizer does not provide an electronic system. Your lead sheet is a pre-printed form that acts as a script for your sales people to follow to ensure that they gather consistent information from contact to contact. (For a copy of my lead sheet template e-mail me at
  3. A hybrid is used in the situation where the electronic system only provides you with part of the information you need. You can then supplement it with a manual lead sheet and gather the bits of information you still require.

Business has moved beyond taking lead information on the back of a business card. To be truly successful at your next show give some serious consideration to the technology you will use to record contact information. One further thought. Once you have decided on how you will gather information, train your staff so they are comfortable getting the information you need.

About the Author
Jon Edelman provides exciting trade show marketing ideas, including advice about prize wheels, customizable scratch-off cards, money blowing machines, and other exciting trade show attractions. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, lead generation techniques, and networking with trade show vendors. Helping to build a referral-generating system, his ideas continuously lead to a boost in sales and revenue.

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