Good Follow Up Starts Before the Show
Bring everything you need to capture good leads. That can be rented lead retrieval machines or just plenty of pens, paper, forms you’ve created and your business cards. Don’t just collect your leads, develop a system for classifying leads on the spot such as:
Hot leads – Ready to buy soon (you set the time frame)
Warm leads – Have a project, but not buying soon
Cold leads – Just researching or gathering information
Immediately categorizing and making notes about leads helps you keep details straight about each and will help as you begin your follow up.
Consider bringing a notebook or a stack of well-designed lead forms to use during the show. As you meet people, staple their business cards or brochures onto a page in the notebook or on one of the lead forms.
Fill it out as fully as possible as soon after the conversation as you can. Notate why this lead is important so you’ll be able to recall more details about the person or business later.
Hold a Meeting Right After the Show
Assemble your follow-up team or sales team and have everyone go over the lead notes. Identify the most important ones for immediate follow-up, and create a schedule for following up on all leads within a reasonable length of time.
It’s a good goal to shoot for contacting all leads within 48 hours. Within this time, you won’t forget people’s names and faces, and they’re less likely to have forgotten you.
Add Leads to Your Existing Contact Lists
You probably already have a contact list of customers or interested parties for newsletters, email blasts and special offers. Make sure your follow-up team adds each of the new leads into these lists, so that they get notifications from you and you will stay top-of-mind with them.
Don’t Forget Social Media
Add as many of your new leads as possible to your LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google Plus friends lists. Even people who aren’t necessarily interested in buying from you now might become converted customers if you stay in contact with them. Developing relationships is one of the most important aspects of building a successful business.
Keep Your Promises
Make sure you keep any promises you made during the trade show, such as sending someone a brochure or a product sample. During the show, make notes on promises you make, and be sure your follow-up team gets all the leads whatever you promised. This establishes you as a dependable, trustworthy person to do business with.