What to Do With Trade Show Leads

Trade shows are a great way to build credibility, launch new products, and get leads that produce sales. They are also an expensive endeavor; the booth, the travel, the staffing, the promotional items, and the time away from the office add up to create a budget-busting event, unless your sales team turns the trade show leads into sales. There are many ways to gather leads at a trade show; you can have a drawing for a great giveaway at the end of the event, have your sales personnel input all of the business cards they gather into a database, and don’t forget to target the other vendors at the show. Increasing your leads at the show by being creative is the best thing you can do. But, what do you do with all of these leads once everyone returns from the event? Below are some proven techniques to turn leads into sales.


Step One: Invest time in consolidating all of the trade show leads gathered at the event into your client management software

If you do not currently have a CRM platform, invest in one prior to an event; it is worth every penny. While your sales personnel may grumble, it is really best that their first day back that they input all of the names of their contacts from the show into the database and add whatever they remember about the potential client. Do not let them farm this task out to support staff.

Step Two: Sort through the database of trade show leads

Ideally, when your sales personnel put the potential customers into the database, they will indicate the level of interest that the customers indicated at the show. Your first priority is to select those leads that are hot. These should be your first targets. It is essential that you strike while they still remember your team and your product.

Step Three: Devise a creative email that your sales personnel can send directly to these trade show leads

It should remind them of your business, the products, and whatever specials you were offering at the show. Encourage your sales team to personalize the emails for prospects that they remember, and that they built a relationship with. As with all marketing sales collateral, it is essential that you include information about the product, but also that you ask for the sale. This is not the time for a soft sales approach; now is the time to hit them with an offer that they cannot refuse.


Step Four: Devise follow-up strategies for all of your trade show leads

This can include emails, mailings, phone calls, and the like. The first week after the trade show is the best time to turn leads into customers. Prepare your team with the proper sales scripts and necessary materials to make their jobs easier. Run a contest between your sales team members to see who can turn the most leads into sales upon their return to headquarters. All leads, even those not considered hot must be follow-upped on within that first week; as crazy as the event is, now is not the time to relax. Now is the time to sell.