Long-Term Sales Leads

Why do you exhibit at tradeshows and homeshows? Other than branding, promotion and networking opportunities, we typically exhibit at shows to look for sales.

However, let’s accept certain facts—for most of us, tradeshows are no longer the “close-sales-at-the-show” environment they once were. Rarely are a majority of your booth visitors looking to buy immediately. Most are there to learn what is new, make contacts, get information and plant seeds for potential projects down the road.

In fact, our studies and experience show that for every 100 visitors to your booth, 20 will have an immediate need, 60 will have a future or unspecified need and 20 are not sure why they dropped by (perhaps it was to win the prize you are offering).

Based on these statistics, the answer to “why do you go to tradeshows?” is to secure the long-term opportunities, not the immediate.

If we now know we go to tradeshows to build long-term sales opportunities, why do most of us have our sales reps focus only on “hot” leads, while often losing track of future opportunities? This is counterproductive.

So how do we solve this problem? Put in place an ongoing follow-up and development plan (regular contact via phone, mail, e-mail, etc.) to ensure your organization does not lose track and fall out of touch with your non-immediate sales opportunities. They are the reason you went to the show in the first place and they represent the vast majority of your leads.

To develop this plan, you will need to:

  • Assign resources;
  • Document the process; and
  • Choose a piece of technology to make it efficient.

By implementing this plan, many of your leads will eventually turn into sales.

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About the author

Darren Rabie is the president of Focus America. Rabie can be reached at 416.4890.7937 or by e-mail at [email protected].