How to Follow up with Potential Customers after Your Trade Show

After a conference or trade show, you need to follow up with your leads immediately. It’ll ensure that they don’t forget about your brand or services. If you wait longer, they might end up making orders with a competitor, which is something you want to avoid.

Therefore, ample planning should be in place as to how you have to contact the leads. You need to organize the information attained from the trade show properly. It’ll show the success of your trade show selling strategies.

This will give you a better understanding of your leads and also help you figure out the ones who should be contacted first.

Below is a detailed guide as to how you should follow up with your leads.

1. Categorize Your Data

Not all leads are similar. By categorizing your data, you can determine the significant leads and set them apart. This ensures that when you are contacting the leads, you have an idea of who to begin with.

Using a scale to categorize the data will be helpful. You can accomplish this by using stars (1 to 5), the alphabet or even numbers. This will ensure that you contact all the leads.

Also, additional information is essential. It might include what the lead was wearing, as well as their location or even their order. Having this information means that you don’t spend much time on the follow-up learning more about the lead.

You can focus on convincing them to be clients, so you can make sales.

In most cases, more than 80 percent of trade show leads are never followed up on. Therefore, to avoid such a trade show selling strategy, conduct a follow-up immediately.

After you’ve categorized the data, you should add it to your customer contact list. You can use customer relationship management software to achieve this. By using this software, you can have all the leads’ information at your fingertips.

When speaking to one client, you can also check their history using this data. This helps you discern their relationship history and determine who some of the most valued clients to the business are.

With CRM software, you can do more than just save your trade show selling information. You can note the dates and the orders the client has purchased so far, as well as their type of preferred contact.

Having a tangible copy of the trade show selling data is essential. The contacts can be placed in files for convenient access. Using different colors based on the dates when the leads were attained can be a simple way of differentiating these files. Furthermore, the colors can also be used to differentiate the priority of your leads. For example, you can use red for high priority, yellow for medium priority and green for low priority leads. To ensure that the names remain in order, a Rolodex might be ideal.

2. Follow Up

The swiftest and easiest communication method is a phone call or a text message. However, you should opt for emails, since not all leads might answer a call or text from an unknown number.

The tone of the email matters. It should be friendly and invite the lead to engage in a conversation. The introduction of the email should thank the lead for visiting the trade show. Furthermore, the email should also remind them of your products and services.

Not all leads might end up remembering what it is that you’re talking about. Therefore, details matter; avoid being vague. If there isn’t enough information, most leads will consider the email to be spam and delete it immediately.

For the strongest leads, it’s better to jump straight to the follow-up and send them a catalog of your samples. They should be accompanied by a business letter.

Depending on what you promised the leads when conducting trade show selling, you need to fulfill these promises, such as appointments or even calls.

Keeping your word will change the outlook of the lead. It will make the lead willing to keep in touch or even order your samples and products. Therefore, you end up gaining clients from the leads you generated at the trade show.

In addition to this, you have to consider other avenues of communication. Some of these include:

(i) Calls

Making calls is suitable after you’ve emailed the leads. At some point, you have to communicate with them. Calling them is a better means of building rapport. In the email, you can make plans to follow up with a phone call.

When making the call, you need to have a business conversation starting point. This starting point, which should be covered by your trade show selling strategy, needs to have an introduction. Here, you notify the lead of who you are and why you’re calling them.

Also, you should continue to know what it is that the lead might want to know about the brand. During this part of the call, you welcome any questions that they have and don’t hesitate to answer them.

After you’ve answered all the questions, ask whether there’s something else that might have been left out. Then, you can offer some samples or a catalog or even get to know whether they need to place an order.

(ii) Meetings

Even after you’ve called some clients, it might not be enough. Taking this to the next level might be necessary. However, it should only be for the most important leads, such as those who are more likely to make large orders or those who have already taken such orders. You need to cultivate a healthy relationship with such leads and make them long-term clients.

A face-to-face meeting shows the lead or client that they’re valued. Also, it will make it easier for you to maintain these relationships. Any meetings should be scheduled after the show as soon as you have an opening in your schedule.

With a face-to-face meeting, never sound rehearsed. This is tougher than a phone call, since you cannot script it. However, some of the common pleasantries might include saying thank you, giving the lead a business card and offering some of your additional products that are available.

For the leads within your area, go to them instead and invite them to lunch or dinner. Schedule a meeting, and take some of the samples and a catalog with you.

3. Post-show Promotions

After the trade show, you should show the strongest leads that you appreciate them. Wait until a few days have passed, then send them high-end gifts, like a high-end device or even a fancy pen.

This will make them happy and increase their likelihood of talking to you during the follow up. Also, after you send the gifts, make sure that you follow up to ascertain that the leads got them.

In addition to this, you can:

  • Contact the people you never got to meet
  • Update the company website
  • Send out a general email

(i) Contacting the People You Didn’t Meet

Use the list of attendees to contact everyone whom you didn’t meet. In some cases, the management might make a list free to the exhibitors. Take advantage of this to contact everyone who was at the conference.

The email should be focused on the services and products that you provide. Also, tell them that you’re sorry you never got to meet them. Take this chance to show off some of the offers that were available during the conference. These offers can end up attracting new leads, even if they never got a chance to visit your trade show booth.

(ii) Updating the Company Website

The website speaks more about the company and provides an online audience a chance to learn what you offer as a brand. Therefore, updating all the events that occurred at the trade show will help your audience understand what they missed.

This will act as a summary of all the things that you had at your trade show selling booth. You should include any links to the trade show press, as well as photos. In addition to this, in all the follow-up emails you send out, send the links to the show.

(iii) Sending Out a General Email

When sending out an update or a newsletter, you should highlight the success of the trade show. Any person who might have wanted to attend will know of everything that happened through this information.

Also, they can learn about the offers that were available. This might ensure that some of these people never miss a trade show again.

You can also generate some new leads through the general email or newsletter, since some might be encouraged to get in touch with you after reading it.

Final Take

By following up with the leads, you can determine if your trade show selling strategy was successful. Therefore, the leads who respond to your follow-up will immediately become your clients.

You should keep in touch with all of your leads. However, don’t contact them frequently. Just keep all the follow-ups professional and within a three or four-week interval.

Above all else, remember that trade shows can be a valuable means of marketing your brand. Besides, you get to interact with your leads and understand their interests.