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Improving Lead Quality with “Next Step” Follow-Up

You’ve designed your program for success through trade show ROI tactics.  And sure enough, the three days at the show go by without a hitch. Everyone is excited about the many productive conversations your sales team has had with top prospects. And the accolades for your beautiful new trade show booth design could be heard all over the exhibit hall.

Was this effort a grand success?  If you let your team ignore the leads you’ve just obtained, then the results will fall well below expectations. Industry statistics indicate that LESS than 20 percent of leads receive a follow-up.  How can you avoid falling into this trap?

One way to increase the quality of leads and eventual results, including the follow-up ratio, is to ask participants to commit to a specific “next step.” Sales and marketing should work together to define this action. If there is not a clear, specific next step, then there will not be a commitment path for a follow-up to take place.

An effective next step can be either human contact or automated interaction that moves the participant closer to a sale. For example, consider a qualified visitor (as defined by the exhibiting company) at a construction show who completes a “test drive” in an equipment simulator. That experience must ultimately result in a visit to a dealer, as they are the only ones who can actually sell equipment.

The immediate next step, however, may be to ask the prospect to sign up for the associated “concierge program” for test drive participants. This web-based package would steer the prospect to the dealer with motivating benefits in hand, such as a specified discount, preferred financing and/or free optional add-on equipment. Getting the prospect to enter the program would be the next step at the event. Once enrolled, tracking “goal conversions” identified with each step the prospect takes provides the results measurement.

At the ExhibitorLIVE show in 2016, Exhibitus designed the engagement activity inside its booth to introduce attendees to the company’s Results Division, a service that focuses on measurement, justification and continuous improvement of trade show programs. The experience journey introduced concepts and activities that are measured as part of the Division’s Self-Assessment Survey – a series of qualifiers that compare trade show and event practices used by an attendee’s company with those considered “best practices” by the industry.

At the end of their visit, attendees were given a package that included a giveaway and a passcode for free access to the Self-Assessment Survey. Completion of the Self-Assessment was then monitored. For those that did not complete the process immediately, the sales team followed-up with a quick email reminder.

The concept of commitment, both from the attendee and the exhibitor, is critical to moving the prospect into the sales cycle, and eventually reaping the trade show ROI your program deserves. For additional discussions about the benefits and process of following up with show attendees, contact Exhibitus’ Results Division today.