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Improve How Your Company Handles Of Trade-Show Leads

According to Dennis Frahmann, trade show marketing represents as much as 17 percent of business-to-business marketing communications budget, but companies need to improve their handling of trade show leads. Frahmann is senior vice president of integrated marketing communications at Best Software, Irvine, CA (USA) and spoke recently for the Direct Marketing Associations B-to-B Marketing Conference in Tucson, AZ (USA). Learn more about what his comments mean to your company.

Frahmann offered advice for making the most of trade-shows leads. I'll present it here with my commentary on how it applies to positive relationships that produces quantifiable sales:

  1. Spend time to train staff about the marketing aspect of a trade-show. Trade-shows aren't just a place to share your latest products or to even talk about your company-- it's exposure, it's accessing decision makers. Every individual involved in your trade-show effort should understand the steps to trade-show success. Clearly defining a qualified lead, core presented product, and product benefits is a start.
  2. Follow-up all trade show leads immediately. Nothing disappoints a potential customer more than requesting information that takes forever to receive-- at least if you never send it they will probably just forget about you. Plan your follow-on before the event, prepare materials, and have an idea of what you will be sending to each trade lead. Leads expect to receive your materials 1-2 business days after the end of an event.
  3. Gather enough information to service and sell each lead. At least have a worksheet to collect information about each lead. Just getting a business card isn't enough to convert leads to sales, you must know about a prospects challenges, desires, and expected results. If all you get is a business card, then call each individual after the trade-show to learn more about these selling points before you offer your product or service.
  4. Pre-qualify leads before sending them to the sales department. Use your sales qualification formulas to send only the highest quality leads to your sales team. Focus on those most likely to purchase, while providing the rest with materials about your product or service. You'll experience a higher conversion rate, plus spend less money in the effort.

Your trade-show is not just a nice display, but knowledgeable staff who can get prospects answers to questions about your solutions in a timely fashion. With this attitude you'll generate more sales after the show and have more qualified buyers learn about what you have to offer. How could your people better plan their next trade show?

/ applying-strategy | profitable-customers /

By Justin Hitt at October 8, 2003 11:22 AM  Subscribe in a reader


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