Nick Hoover of Sage Lion Media has put together a few tips for those attending IFTD this year:
As IFTD bears down on us like the weight of a humid July day in Orlando, I thought it was important to talk about the reason a lot of us attend the show, generating leads. Sending a team to Orlando can be expensive. Bringing home more customers can help offset the cost of the show. But going from lead to customer requires foresight, a plan, and a little understanding of your lead.
These four stats show the importance of developing a solid blueprint for reaching out to leads quickly after IFTD.
- 78 Percent Polled Have A Negative Opinion Of Exhibitors That Don’t Follow Up (source)
Guess what; those tradeshow leads want to hear from you. In fact not following up will negatively affect the opinion of your company according to the Bartizan research.. To combat this problem prepare a post-show follow-up strategy. A real goal is to reach out within 48 hours of your first contact. To expedite the follow-up process, explore digitizing your lead collection. Business card swapping is great, but someone has to input that data into your email system. Instead, utilize the IFTD email list from AFFTA as a head start. Then develop a lead scoring system for those contacts you need to follow up with right away. We’ll get to that shortly.
- Only 34 percent of respondents have a formal lead-scoring or lead-ranking process designed to prioritize follow-up or gauge the potential value of each lead. (source)
Developing a Lead Scoring System will allow you to rate each lead gathered at IFTD and prioritize follow-up. If a lead doesn’t meet your scoring thresholds, you can ignore them or move them to the bottom of the list. Scoring leads will save unnecessary contact with leads that don’t meet minimum thresholds and allow you to focus on solid leads. Understanding what your ideal tradeshow lead looks like can help build a simple scoring system. Each company is different, but start asking simple questions like:
- Classify them: What type of Company does this person work for:
- Big Box?
- Qualify them: What one thing must they do to be a company you would work with?
- Previous sales history?
- Minimum sales per year?
- Longevity in the industry?
- Prioritize them: What must they do to gain priority?
- Talk with the owners?
- Cast a Fly Rod?
- Compare your product lines?
- Assign a score: Each interaction should then be scored based on your own scoring system. This post from HubSpot is a great starting point if you’ve never scored a lead before.
- The most important thing to do is train all booth workers on the scoring system. Everyone in the booth should understand how to score leads for follow up based on the scoring system.
- 98 percent of exhibitors collect sales leads at trade shows, but less than 70 percent have any formalized plan or process in place for how those leads are followed up after the show. (source)
If all this sounds foreign and like a ton of extra work, you are not alone according to Exhibitor Magazine. But that 70 percent is a huge opportunity to separate from the competition and talk to future companies when others are not.
- Only 47 percent of companies track leads generated at trade shows and events throughout the sales cycle, and a measly 28 percent measure and report the number of leads that ultimately convert to sales as part of their exhibit programs’ ROI. (source)
If you’re not at IFTD to generate leads and ultimately sales, why are you going? Do you know how many leads you generated from IFTD in 2016? Was the show profitable for your company? If you’re not tracking leads and ROI from the show how can you demonstrate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts? Reporting on your sales from IFTD will complete the marketing cycle for the show. This number can become a benchmark for your endeavors in upcoming years.
Hopefully, these stats give you encouragement that there is still room to grow your marketing efforts at IFTD. It’s important to follow up quickly after a show. It’s equally important to develop a plan for how you are going to follow up so that you can execute it efficiently.