The most important part of any trade show is effectively following your leads in order to gain clients. The way in which you gather information and contact your potential clients will determine your success rate. When gathering information at trade shows it is critical to strategically plan your entire show as well as your follow up strategies.
Effective information gathering will make or break your trade show event. With years of experience and feedback from multiple clients, there is one method that seems to work very well over and over again. When gathering information on clients you should carry a spiral bound notebook and take chronological notes as you talk to clients. It is very beneficial to ask the client a couple of personal questions either regarding their trip or current events. If you have an interesting conversion you should include it in your client notes. This will aid you when following up with clients after the show. You should also take business cards and company information and staple it inside the notebook so that all the clients’ information is in one place. You also want to be sure to rank clients on levels of importance. This way it is easy to categorize which clients are worth extensive follow up.
After the trade show has concluded it is now time to start following your leads in order to land sales. A very small percentage of sales are actually made at the trade show itself, so if you do not follow up on leads then your show could be a disaster. When following up you should separate the leads into separate piles based on the ranking you gave them at the show. The list of most important clients should be contacted first so that you can secure a sale before everyone else at the trade show begins contacting them. You should also use the personal and company notes to break the ice in the conversation. Lines like “was your flight back better then your flight to the show?” or “are you feeling better from that cold you had?” will effectively break the ice and make your potential client more comfortable in the conversation. Once you exhausted all of the top leads move down the list, taking notes of every conversation, so you can follow up again if needed.
These simple procedures will make you next trade show very successful. There are also many other small details that can be incorporated into your plan to increase your sales at every show. If you have an effective trade show display and use the simple steps in this article it will be very easy to have a successful trade show time and time again.