Five ways to follow up your next exhibition more effectively

You’ve taken the plunge and have decided to exhibit at an event. It’s a great success and you now have a big, long list of people interested in your products and services.

Now comes the really important part – following up. But believe it or not, it’s reckoned that 75% of tradeshow leads are never followed up. And it’s not just a case of getting round to it when you have a minute. The clock is ticking. After just a few days, people will have forgotten you, your stand and your products or services. So, to get the maximum benefit from the exhibition and a good return on your investment, it’s vital that you follow up all leads quickly, while you’re still fresh in peoples’ minds. And before your competitors do it!

Here are our top five tips to help you get the most out of every exhibition lead you get on the day.

1. Hire a barcode scanner

At Sixothree, we always tell our clients to hire a barcode scanner. Not only does it make you and your business look really professional, but it quickly and easily gathers you loads of invaluable data. Most tradeshows these days ask visitors to complete a lengthy registration form, including their contact details and other company information which you may be able to use.

With a barcode scanner you simply press a button and gather all this lovely data. This will then help you build a profile on the people who visit your stand, so you can target your marketing communications accordingly. You will also be given a menu card where you can record additional information on each visitor. This could be the products they’ve shown an interest in, whether they’ve requested a quote from you or asked for a meeting after the exhibition.

All of this information is essential, yet it’s hard to write all these details down on paper, your laptop or tablet when you have people milling around your stand. And of course, if you’re writing things down or typing, you’re not talking to prospects and selling. So get a barcode scanner and start clicking.

2. Write your follow-up email before the event

After the exhibition, you’ll be tired, there will be work to catch up on, prospect data to pull together and the last thing you’ll want to do is write an email and get it designed. So, do it all before the event.

Prepare a standard email which is suitable for most enquiries, which thanks people for visiting your stand. It doesn’t have to be complex, just a short thank you, some basic information about your company, and a note to say that someone from your company will be in touch in the next few days. It’s simple, yet it’s amazing how many companies don’t do this. Do it before the event and you’ll be good to go straight after it. If you need any help or advice on writing, designing and delivering your follow-up email, contact Sixothree.

3. Categorise your leads before contacting them

You’ve collated your leads. You’ve sent each one a thank you for visiting us email, now it’s the important part – following up each lead individually.

If you have a long list of leads, it’s a good idea to categorise them based on the urgency of each lead, for example hot, warm or cold. A hot lead might want a follow-up meeting soon or want to discuss an order in detail. A warm lead might want a quote from you. A cold lead might just want you to follow them up in a few months’ time.

Get your leads in the right order and you’ll know that you’re contacting the people who are most interested first of all.

4. Pass your leads around your team

Remember, you need to strike while the iron is hot. So if you have a long list of leads, it’s best to share them out among a team of sales people, so that you can contact people soon after the event. But not all companies have the resources to do this.

At Sixothree, we work with experienced telesales agents who can do this for you. They will take time to get to know your business, and will work with you to follow up your leads. If you don’t have the people to follow up all leads within the first week after the event, it’s definitely worth hiring a few extra pairs of hands. Talk to Sixothree to find out more.

5. Review the whole process

Once you’ve done the initial follow-up, it’s important that you keep a record of all your leads, and update it with the latest information. This will help you monitor your prospects, but also help you review the success of the event so that you can decide whether it’s worth doing it again next year.

To discuss your next business event and how to follow it up more effectively, call Karen on 07908 610 190 or email karen@sixothree.co.uk.