Want more sales? Get more leads

Written by Susan Ratliff on April 6, 2012. Posted in generating leads, Uncategorized

My plan was to do a little research in the exhibit hall at the conference I spoke at recently.  I wanted to personalize my session to the specific audience and highlight the good sales techniques of a few of the participating vendors.  One of the things I was looking for was the types of lead generating strategies the exhibitors were using to capture a prospects contact information like company name, email address and phone number.  Some of the common techniques would be

  • holding a drawing
  •  having a contest.
  • playing a game
  • taking a survey. 

There is usually a bowl or basket on a table or counter where attendees can deposit a lead form or business card. Smart exhibitors will keep their forms on clipboards and write down the contact information while they engage the attendee.  I walked the entire show floor and inspected over 100 booths.  I found only five companies that had any type of lead capturing process that was obvious to me.  That was pretty hard to believe.  What were those other companies thinking?  Why were they at the show?  I asked a few how they were getting their leads.  More than several said they weren’t collecting leads because they would be getting the attendee list after the show.  I am thinking, are you kidding me? They might as well cold call 100 names out of the phone book, randomly search for customers on Google or throw darts at a map. Why spend thousands of dollars on an exhibit and booth space and take the staff out of town for a week if you aren’t planning to cultivate prospects and gather some intel?   Face to face marketing is why you exhibit at a tradeshow.  Meeting your potential customers personally so they get to know who you are is part of the value of exhibiting.  It’s where you can connect a name and face to a your business. Your chance to dig into what makes your customer tick. If you ask they will tell you what they love and hate about your business. What they want from you and your industry. What problems they have an solutions they need.  If you listen and they like you and you follow up effectively they will buy from you.   Make a plan to do that at your next event.  If you need some ideas or want some advice on getting the most from your next tradeshow contact me, Susan Ratliff, The Exhibit Expert at susan@susanratliff.com

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