It’s been a long three days. Early morning starts, late evenings and sore feet are starting to take their toll. Late in the afternoon the thoughts of home and a night’s sleep in your own bed are dominating. Then out of nowhere the words that you have been waiting for invade the exhibition floor: “This exhibition is now closed, looking forward to seeing you again next year”. Finally it’s over. The stragglers make for the exits, stand personnel pick up their coats and head to their company cars and stand breakdown teams arrive like locusts. For you, the marketing person that in your words ‘has made this event happen’, the job is done. Right? Wrong! You see, if and when you are asked by your CEO for more than just the number of leads generated you need to ensure that the level of your panic isn’t the only metric you can quote!
Okay so that is a fairly tongue-in-cheek look at the world of exhibitions and as seasoned marketing professionals we know the time and effort that goes into ensuring your exhibition rocks. But underpinning it is a serious message, namely treat each lead as if it were your first-born. Ask yourself a question. You remember that lead you got from that exhibition in Munich last year – do you really know what the status is? You see, only by nurturing your seeds will they grow into mighty oaks.
So here are some tips for getting the most out of those hard-won leads:
- Mr, Mrs or Miss marketing person – you take the leads home in your briefcase! Don’t let anyone walk away with them but you. This is your gold; don’t let anyone leave them in a cab or on a train.
- When you are back at the office ensure each and every lead is logged on your contact management system.
- Once the CMS is updated call a meeting with the sales director and go through each lead assigning responsibility.
- Schedule a regular update meeting with the sales director to go through all leads. Look for orders or potential order value, but ultimately look to see if someone has been in touch with the prospect.
- Stay interested. You need to keep engaged; you need that evidence to give to the CEO so he/she will sign off your budget for next year. It’s good to say we generated 100 leads but it’s better still to say we generated 100 leads that have resulted in actual business of £xx and potential of £xx.
- You may want to consider qualifying the leads first. That’s not to say that you become a salesman but that you filter the junk and only pass the red hot stuff to the sales team.
- Don’t dismiss students, remember today’s students are tomorrow’s engineers.
- Make sure all email addresses are on your email marketing contact lists.
So there they are – just a few common-sense tips on what to do with your leads back at the ranch. But in closing, consider this question: If you were to give each member of your sales team an envelope with a £200 in it, how long would they leave it on their desks or in the in tray before doing something with it? You know the answer to this, right?
To find out how to optimise your tradeshow take a look at our infographic and listen to our podcast, featured in a recent blog post “How to get the most out of your trade exhibition.”
Or download our free guide below.