The last step in this series...! Advanced follow-up strategies which keep prospects interest and enhance brand recognition, leading to greater sales and ROI.
This final step will show you what you need to do to begin to spread your message via social media and email so it gets results.
This post is part of a series of 17 steps to mastering your trade show ROI. If you haven’t already seen in you need to go back to the first post in the series that covers your goals and objectives. While you can take the information in this single post by itself and improve your results - you will have far greater success if you approach it like a mini course and move from one step to the next.
Nobody likes follow-up.
Yet it's a part of all sales processes that is absolutely essential to your success – yes even with tradeshows.
It's unbelievable how many clients we talk to that tell us their follow up consists of; one email 2 months after the event…
Come on people!
They won’t even remember the event in 2 weeks – let alone 2 months!
The definition of follow up is this:
“An action or thing that serves to increase the effectiveness of a previous one”.
“Something that continues or completes a process or activity”.
So by failing to follow up you are effectively leaving your hard work incomplete and ineffective.
Your commerce, your business and your economy is dependent on your ability to see an activity all the way through.
You have to follow up and it has to be done fast…
35 to 50% of all sales go to the company who follows up first. This means that you have to do it as quickly as you can – if you want to win the business.
One of the biggest weakness for most companies is the follow-up stage! In average, it takes 7 days for an exhibitor to follow-up and 80% of leads are never followed-through !
"On average, it takes 7 days for an exhibitor to follow-up and 80% of leads are never followed-through!"
But 7 days is way too long to catch-up with a buyer: after seeing thousands of products, hundreds of booths and tens of exhibitors, what are the chances he would remember you 7 days later?
Follow-ups must be performed within 48h after the show. That is the period of time during which the buyer is still aware of your existence and remembers most of what was discussed.
The first key is to "Reach out personally"
Have your sales staff who chatted with the prospect at the booth to personally email them.
If you want to be remembered, you need to do something memorable as well as send the email.
But... Still send an email – you are going to be better of sending an email than nothing at all so just do it first.
The key is to make it personal, relative and of value to your prospect.
It’s important that you do not send mass emails to attendee lists. Even if you collected their business cards, if they haven’t specifically subscribed for company updates, you don't have the right to put them on a mailing list.
Just because you have their contact info doesn’t mean they know who you are. The last thing you want to do is make them feel like they are being spammed.
We still recommend using an email marketing software and set it up with the templates so you all you need to do is enter their details into the system and BOOM…
Off it goes.
Just please make sure that you take the time to add those personal touches to it and that it doesn't look like its come from a mass email blast!
So what next you ask…?
One of the keys to effective follow up is never, never, never follow up only once!
People are busy and overlook things, get distracted whatever it is, and will often not even see your first email.
You need to work out what your program will let you fit in. Obviously, a phone call is the ultimate in follow up. If you can call every person you have spoken to and emailed – do it.
The next best is to text them… A simple text just making sure they received the email – did it help them – any questions – whatever the next step in your sales process is, will get you amazing results.
Then video... How easy is it these days to shoot a quick video on your phone…? There are a couple of great programs you can use to send video messages if you don’t already have one in use. There's nothing more powerful than a raw video that shows your personality, character and enthusiasm to a prospect.
Combine all these tactics together into a plan and you will blow your results out of the water. You still must decide what’s going to be the best flow for your company or industry…
You may want to do the video first, then the text, then the email, then the phonecall to finally close an appointment or get the sale.
Whatever it is – you need to decide and commit to it before the event so that you have a strong plan for when you go into it.
Now, unfortunately - dealing with the event, packing, seeing your own mailbox packed with unread emails, planning your return to the office and being exhausted by the show does not really help with handling a quick and efficient follow-up strategy.
So, what can you do about it?
Email templates! Ahead of the show prepare a list of “buyer personas” or, more precisely, “visitor personas”. Try to map out the type of people you could meet in your booth and create a “standard email” for each of them.
You would have one for simple visitors to thank them for their visits, one for cold leads looking for additional information, one for warm leads and another for hot leads.
Use as many dynamic fields in your email templates as you can – things like [first_name] and [last_name] that get automatically replaced with the visitor’s information at sending.
Remember to add links to your website, blog and marketing collateral (brochures, flyers, catalogs, price lists even) when relevant. It is aways better to use links as opposed to attached files: first because you can track downloads, and second because you reduce the risk of ending up in a spambox.
Having pre-written emails will not only save you hours or days of work, it will also considerably speed-up your follow-up process.
So now you have it all...! Go out and use the knowledge you have gained from these steps and make sure that you turn your next tradeshow or event into a huge success!