Trade Shows are fun, but they are also a lot of work! But, believe it or not, the real work starts after the show is over and you are back in your office. And this is the place most exhibitors fall down!
The first order of business, once the show is over and you are back home, is to go through all the leads and orders you got at the show. Orders and requests for information should go out ASAP! Don’t sleep until these are done. You are on trial to see how you operate your business… make an impression!
Of course, some buyers will ask for delayed shipping, by or after a certain date, to coincide with their next busy season. Make sure you develop a “tickler” system for sending out scheduled orders. Nothing hurts your credibility more than FORGETTING to send out an order, in the exact time frame when your customer wanted it.
Here is a suggested post-show follow-up sequence.
- The ORDERS tagged for immediate delivery should go out first.
- Download and post all the photos of customers and contacts you took at the show, to various social media and blogs. As you roll out the follow-up sequences below, be sure to include links to your show photos, and invite people to look them over.
- Requests for specific information get mailed next, with a thank you. On the outside of the mailer, it’s a VERY good idea to include something like: “The Information You Requested is Just Inside! Open NOW for Our Time Limited Offer!” Of course, you do need to have an offer in this case…
- A thank you and reminder mailer, with sales materials, should go out to everyone whose information you were able to obtain. Much of the materials picked up are already in the round file… or part of a disorganized stack or mess the buyer may never get back to.
- For customers, the note should be customized to thank them for any orders, or offer to extend the show special, and solicit feedback for getting testimonials about your service and/or products.
- For prospects, you might try a “thanks for coming by” offer, with either a scaled-down version of the show offer or a different offer entirely.
- Give EVERYONE a week or (at most) two weeks after the initial mailing or order shipment, and dial them up with a “courtesy call”, to make sure they got their order, or their information, or the follow-up materials and offer. Ask if there is anything else you could send them or questions you can answer. If they did not order at the show, ask them if they would like to place an order now, and take advantage of the post-show offer.
- Check back again every 30 to 60 days with a “courtesy call”, until you get them as a customer, or you are convinced they will never be a customer.
Note that the great majority of exhibitors NEVER FOLLOW UP – instead, waiting for the prospects who came by the booth, to do all the work.
I understand that it’s easy to go back into your regular routine and leave the pressure of the show behind. THIS IS A MISTAKE! Do your follow-ups and thank yous, and set yourself ABOVE THE CROWD! You have a HUGE investment in the show, and with very little effort (relatively speaking) you can multiply your financial results!
Special Note: The article above is an excerpt from my e-guide: Trade Show Exhibiting Secrets!