You bought a booth at a trade show.
You invested in promotional materials, decorations, banner, tablescaping, handouts, print collateral, and more.
You and your team spent hour upon and hour standing in a convention center talking to people as they came by, fingers crossed, hoping that you looked inviting enough. Standing until your feet and back hurt. Smiling until your cheeks were sore.
You handed out business card after business card.
You collected stacks of business cards from the event.
Is the phone ringing now?
Did people begin to contact you for your service or product?
Over the past year, I have attended countless trade shows, leaving business cards at booth after booth for which I could be a prospective client, a referral partner, or some other asset. These include computer solutions, real estate agencies, mortgage bankers, financial planner, accountants, marketing firms, printers, chambers of commerce, benefits consultantancies, payroll companies, janitorial services, health and personal fitness, manufacturers, chiropractors, and innovative tech companies: every vertical, every size. Out of these hundreds of introductory interactions, can you guess how many have subsequently pro-actively contacted me?
- One email.
- One phone call.
- One or two LinkedIn requests.
- Essentially nothing.
Every day that passes renders that followup contact less and less relevant.
What does this tell me? Opportunities are sliding through the fingers of business owners and salespeople like sand through a sieve. It’s the exceptional sales person or business that will embrace a system to take this on.
That booth is only the first step in a sales process. Without a subsequent plan, that investment of time, money and energy is not generating anywhere near maximum results.
So, what could that plan look like?
While every industry differs, every client profile differs, every sales process differs, sample timeline could resemble:
|Evening of event||Thank you email||Brief – “It was nice to meet you.”|
|Business Day 2||Helpful content regarding your subject matter. No “sales” messaging.|
|Business Day 5||Helpful content regarding your subject matter. No “sales” messaging.|
|Business Day 6||Phone Call||Consultative questions to assess opportunity, seek to set face-to-face time.|
|Business Day 7||Direct Mail||Postcard about services/product|
|Business Day 8||White paper about success story that relates to the industry of the prospective partner.|
|Business Day 11||Phone Call to prior non-respondents||Consultative questions to assess opportunity, seek to set face-to-face time.|
|Business Day 12||Helpful content regarding your subject matter. No “sales” messaging.|
|Business Day 16||Phone Call to prior non-respondents||Consultative questions to assess opportunity, seek to set face-to-face time.|
|Business Day 17||Change list||Shift contacts to their proper list for ongoing nurturance and cultivation.|
|Business Day 19||Phone Call to prior non-respondents who are reading the emails||Consultative questions to assess opportunity, seek to set face-to-face time.|
Going forward, all contacts enter an ongoing nurturance system consisting of direct mail, emails, phone calls, and more – according to your sales strategy, direction, process, and dialogues.
It’s time to invest in more than a booth. It’s time to invest in your plan.