People are fueled by their strengths and weaknesses. Manufacturers, sales teams and business owners can excel at selling and distributing products, but often struggle with marketing and communications.
If that sounds like you, listen up. Here’s how to communicate and market your business after a trade show to be productive and profitable.
Once you’ve established a post-event follow-up plan to capitalize on business leads – complete with a prioritized list of leads, timelines, organized notes and plan leader – you can draft your communications tactics and marketing strategies.
Before launching a follow-up plan for business leads, your archery business should form a strong team dynamic. Use goal-setting to increase focus, group cohesion and employee worth. Photo Credit: ATA
Create an All-Star Team
Whether you reach out to leads directly or designate staff members to help, everyone who contacts your leads should be polite, trained and personable. Each team member must possess qualities that make a great salesperson.
Then, set goals to motivate your team. According to an article on Chron.com, goal-setting provides focus, improves group cohesion, and increases employee worth. It’s also measurable. In the article “6 Tips for Trade Show Follow Up,” author Alyssa Trenkamp says everyone must understand their team’s goals and discuss key takeaways from the event to ensure productive interactions with clients.
Incentives work, too. Frontdesk.com lists seven ways to incentivize staff member performance. The article suggests commission- or target-based bonuses for your sales team. Incentives can be powerful motivators to improve performance. They help make the most of your follow-up journey.
It’s also smart to create a system to track leads. This can have huge impacts on your team’s productivity and your bottom line. Find an automated customer-relationship management system to stay organized and increase efficiency. Entrepreneur magazine offers six tech solutions for managing sales leads.
Don't let opportunities to connect with retailers slip by. Reach out by phone to build a strong connection and a two-way relationship with potential buyers. Photo Credit: ATA
Analyze your team to determine which communication method works best for your business. Common follow-up methods include phone, email, direct mail or mail packets, and scheduled appointments from the show floor. These follow-ups must be made within three to five days. Prompt follow-ups should increase sales.
An article on Trade-Show-Advisor.com says: “The timing to reach out to people and companies who express interest is crucial. And, the window of timing is narrow.” Don’t let opportunities slip by. The source suggests a phone call is the best method to reach out because it helps you build two-way relationships with potential buyers. In an article on follow-up best practices, a trade-show display company called Apple Rock recommends sending a simple thank-you email to kick off the conversation.
When sending follow-up emails to business leads, include a photo of your booth to remind attendees of your company’s identity, or provide two to three options that appeal to a range of prospects at various stages of the selling cycle. Photo Credit Shane Indrebo.
This step might give some people anxiety, but these tips should remove the pressure.
Capstrat, a strategic communications firm, recommends exhibitors “get personal for better returns.” In its article about trade-show follow-ups, Capstrat said businesses that use personalized messages see a 19 percent increase in sales. If you took good notes during conversations at the event, reference something unique to the client to ease into the conversation and create an “ah-ha” moment.
Don’t get too off-topic. The article insists you “make it relevant.” The follow-up can be personalized to the company, but it must include valuable business information.
Alisa Meredith, an inbound marketer and business owner, knows the value of a good sales lead, and outlines her strategy for communicating via social media, email, telephone and in-person in this article. She echoes the strategy of mentioning a highlight or two from your first conversation to establish rapport.
Trenkamp said you should create a personalized message about your client, not an impersonal message about yourself. See her examples in No. 6 here. The difference is obvious. “Think about your audience and what they would appreciate” when drafting your script.
For even more analysis, Michael Pedone’s Salesbuzz.com article identifies what most exhibitors or sales teams do wrong when contacting a lead. Pedone also gives sample scripts on how to effectively deliver your message. A common mistake he sees is a failed attempt at an opening phrase. Pedone said it’s important to “verbally draw the ‘what’s in it for them’ picture within the first few seconds of the call.” Do this by creating a formal construction and “hit the hot buttons of what you do for your prospects.”
Here are 10 more tips to design an effective trade-show follow-up campaign, provided by Spear Marketing Group. This article details how to stand out in follow-up efforts. For instance, include a photo of your booth in an email to remind attendees of your company’s identity, or provide two to three options that appeal to a range of prospects at various stages of the selling cycle. Both tactics will likely hook your client’s interest for a better business experience.
Use powerful imagery to drive sales and create calls to action. Distribute stickers, fliers, or posters for retailers to display in their stores and promote your products to potential customers. Photo Credit: ATA
Get Down to Business, Literally
Most importantly, it’s crucial that your message – however it’s delivered – explains how the company will benefit from your service. This Apple Rock article says you should include the value your company will add to their program, your solution to a problem they’re having, and why your product, service or company is superior. It should also be a call to action, and give a product or survey overview. Be sure to review the live and voicemail scripts with your team so everyone is familiar with them.
You don’t need a major, or even a minor, in marketing or communications to dominate trade-show follow-ups. All you need are these tips, so take your newfound knowledge and flourish.
To learn more about attending or exhibiting at the 2018 ATA Trade Show, click here.