The real key to securing dates in the diary and potential new customers after an exhibition is to follow up your leads.
So many people give up if their first email is ignored, but a proper follow up strategy will make a difference when it comes to making a sale.
So, what are some of the things you can do to improve your follow up skills and strategies?
Lead Capture Methods
You need to decide how you’re going to capture your leads before you can even consider doing any form of following up.
Whether you collect business cards, ask people to fill in lead forms, scan badges with barcodes on them (a method introduced by many exhibitions) or manually input people’s details into a database – how you’re going to do this can affect how you follow up.
Your stand is yours to design at your leisure, so decide which methods are really going to align best with your company and the image you’re trying to present.
You’ll want to gather all of your leads into one organised and understandable format.
From this, categorising your leads is the next crucial step to ensuring the best follow up. You’ll want to make contact with any ‘hot’ leads first to try and secure a deal as quickly as possible, therefore it’s important you know who they are.
Just because they’re a ‘cool’ lead, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to follow up after the exhibition. However, you may only send a generic thank you email rather than specifically trying to book an appointment with these people.
You could mark business cards or add a file to the database, but you need some method of distinguishing between who was generally interested in your company and who simply stopped by to have a chat.
Have a Follow Up Plan for Each Group
Depending on the urgency and priorities of the follow up, you may have a different follow up plan for each group of people you met at your stand.
For example, you may send just a simple thank you email to all leads, warm leads may receive another email a few days later, but you may set aside time to individually call every single on of your hot leads to ensure you grab their time and attention.
It’s up to you to decide how to go about this, but you must ensure you prioritise those who have a genuine interest in your company.
Having a different follow up method for each group will also help the lead feel more valued if a more personal service (like a phone call) is tailored to them and their business.
Keep on top of all of your stand visitors by sending a thank you email out to all of the addresses you captured preferably on the same day, but no later than 48 hours after the exhibition, when they’re more likely to remember who you are.
This ensures they have a clear indication of what your company does from the get go, and should they require the service you provide in the future their mind should automatically drift to you, as you were one of the first people to thank them for their time.
Get Your Key Points Across
In your follow up emails, you need to firstly remind people of who you are – the more unique way you can do this the better, but make sure it’s relevant to your company still and align your marketing from your social media prep, to your stand and finally – your follow up.
Link any relevant literature, for example a product guide or e-book, that really tells your leads who you are.
Don’t Give Up
If you don’t hear back from your leads, there’s no need to panic. Plenty of business owners will tend to simply get distracted by everyday things, and it’s nothing personal they didn’t reply to the email that’s still sat in their inbox.
Keep following up (although remember not to harass) until you reach an answer or the goal you want.
Add Value for Your Leads
One of the best ways to get your leads to pay attention to your follow up is to demonstrate the value you can add to their lives in your follow up.
Offer an exhibition exclusive discount, provide free educational information in an e-book or video – anything you can do to go the extra mile for your leads will show your dedication as a company and really help you stand out compared to any competition.
For any more help planning your exhibition strategies, or for acquiring an exhibition stand that’s sure to wow, contact us today.