Fall is the time of the year when many businesses like to hold events, attend trade shows and dig those booths out to attract new business. The air is cooler and people are getting out. But how to you get the best bang for the buck in locking in that booth space? Here are a few tips to get you going.
1. Invite your customers and business networking peeps
Don't always depend on ground traffic to make your booth purchase successful. You do need to invite people via email or in person. Go through your contact list and see who might be able to attend if the event you signed up for is free or you have the budget to comp them a event pass.
2. Phone Calling
Besides the emails, do personal phone calling. Sadly while emails are good, they are not always seen. Busy office people often see something and think it is a sales pitch (which well, it is) and hit the delete button. Make your call personal and exciting!
3. Show Time Follow-up
There’s power in numbers. While one call can make an impact, two are even better. Remember, your prospects are as busy as you are, so remind them about your seminar or to visit your booth a couple of days before the event.
4. Social Media
Reach out to people indirectly as well. You can include information about the event on your website and promote it via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other outlets that you may connected to your social platforms.
5. Make Sure Appointments Are Filled At Your Booth!
Your time is valuable. If you have help at your booth, you don’t want them to waste their time talking to each other in the booth or checking out the swag table of a competing company.(although it is fun to do) make sure your and their time is productive by scheduling appointments with decision-makers when you’re on the phone or if the email hits work out. You don't want to just stand around and smile. You also will want help to keep other sales people from wasting your time at the booth. Those that try to sell you at the show while you are there to create business.
6. Prepare for Data Collection
Make sure you have a system in place to collect prospect's information and respond quickly. In the trade show business due to all the competition that is there, you snooze, you lose. Be able to respond quickly as soon as you pack it up.
7. Determine Your Hot Leads
Decide how you will begin following up as soon as you are back at the office. Know how will you score them to determine which ones are hot, warm, or not worth your time? You want to get back to the hot leads first so you don’t lose the opportunity.
8. After The Show Follow-up
There are multiple ways you can follow up after an event: Consider email, direct mail, social media, phone calls, and online conferences. Decide which tactics you will use before your event. Perhaps it’s a combination of tactics that will work best for your company. It may vary based on the personal preferences of your leads. One person might respond best to a LinkedIn message. Another may prefer a phone call. It’s important to go to your prospect’s preferred channel. Also, you may need to create content for follow-up communication, such as webinars, direct mail pieces, and demonstrations which will create additional one-on-ones for your prospects.
9. Be Patient and Persistent But Not Annoying!
It’s human nature to want the sales to materialize quickly. You may be lucky with some of your prospects. However, most will not be ready to buy today. So don’t consider your follow-up to be a once and done thing. You will need to be patient and follow-up but do not be a pest and drive your prospects nuts. If you don't get a bite after one or two months they have your card so let it go. Nothing irritates people than over-aggressive sales people.