Most people I talk to about trade shows always seem interested in the best leads they can create. They don't realize that some of their best leads are slipping through their fingers as they leave their trade show display. They are right they should be the most interested in the best leads they can get however there are secondary leads that may not seem as strong but could come strong next year or create a contact list during the slow times. I can give an example of the largest sale I ever had at a show, it was from a clothing store in and I sold handmade wooden products. This company had come by and casually looked at our products and handed me their card showing that they were a clothing department store. I classified this company as a three prospect, which will make more sense as you read this article.
The method I used to collect my leads was quite simple and still works to this day. My customers I tell about this process call me back and let me know at this process really works, is simple and very effective. The first thing you want to do is purchase a spiral-bound notebook and a stapler, yes I said it was real simple. Whenever a customer comes to your show display booth ask for business card and start taking notes about this person, what their interests are and any way that you can help them. You must do this as the customers are in front of you if you try to remember even a few minutes later you'll forget a lot of the important details. There's two main items I tried to gleam from our conversation and that is how important is this customer and what are potentials to purchase my product. I have my own rating system where I rate them between a one and a three, one being the highest and best customer I could possibly hope for. My number two customer will be someone that was interested in my product but was not ready to purchase or needed more time to think about it. And my number three customers were the customers that were still a year or more off from buying the product showed some interest but I knew they work in a buy right away.
The good thing about ratings people as they came by was when I got back to the office I had already figured out my game plan on how to contact these people. Your number ones of course would come first and you could give them to your most important salesperson do them yourselves or send them a special gift. You really want to work the ones first because they are your highest potential for sales. Now when you get back from the show you have a list of one twos and threes you can decide who and how to contact these people. For example a number two might rate a mailing, email and a personal call at some point in time. Maybe your number threes become an email list and you stay in contact that way. Call maybe once a year or tell them the next show that you're going to be at in their area. This is just an example of the way you can work your tradeshow leads and be able to build a strategy when you get back to the office, quickly and effectively.
One other item I would like to mention is writing down something special about that customer that comes to your booth. Write something like where they in a hurry to catch their plane, where they sick or some other detail you can recall later. Why gather this information? To help will your cold calling, nobody likes to cold call because you know the person you're calling is working at their desk not really wanting to be interrupted, so how do you break through so you can talk to this person. With the small little detail that you have from the show you can call your client and say we met at the show are you feeling any better? You have now broken what's called the cold call ice. Just think of yourself working at the desk in getting this call, do you think this sounds a lot friendlier that someone actually remembered you at the show. You're probably lean back in your chair and chat with this person, and it will probably be a very warm conversation.
You have now gone to the show and collected some real information that will help you and what is the most important part about it tradeshow is the follow-up. Yes everybody's using scanners now but what do they really tell you, they just capture the email and basic information of the person passing by and only digital mailing list. Lists are handy but personal contact will bring you more sales than any amount of emails sent to the same person. Keep these notes on the shelf you can pull them down any time and for years contact people like you just met them. Try your own idea of this method and get better results.