Do you have trouble qualifying and following up on leads?  You’re not alone.  9 out of 10 of us attend trade shows to generate qualified lead, but 8 out of 10 leads are never followed up.  These statistics were revealed by the Centre of Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).

So what’s the problem?

Most leads are qualified.  The information captured lacks sufficient detail to provide a bridge between the show and the sale.  So follow-up is no different than cold calling.  This is because few exhibitors have systems in place to capture, fulfill and follow up on leads, so we don’t get as much out of them as we should.

What can we do?

  1. Create a lead form to capture specific information and get your sales team to review and sign off on it.
  2. Train your booth staff to capture that information and get them to prioritize leads as they are generated and review them each night for completeness.
  3. Create a system to manage leads.  When the show ends how do they get fulfilled, who is responsible for the lead management reporting, when and to whom does the sales team report results?
  4. Prepare your lead follow-up/fulfillment plan before leaving for the show.  If you are sending a letter along with literature, prepare and store it so all you have to do is text merge your leads and print when you return from the show.

Most exhibitors go to shows to accelerate the sales process.  In order to accomplish this goal, a well thought out lead management system needs to be in place.

If you have more ideas about successful trade show lead follow-up please share your comments.

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