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How to Follow up Exhibition Leads and Turn Them into Gold

October 23, 2015 | Laura Baines

Exhibition Leads

Turn Exhibition Leads into Gold!

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Your exhibition has gone well with many leads created and details taken; now you want to maximise your return on investment and really capitalise on all that potential. In this post we will be taking a look at ideas and practices that could help you in achieving this.

Importing leads

A well organised and structured database is key to easy access and effective management of all your potential customers. This could either be an existing customer database or a new one, dedicated to captured leads. Make sure that if you are using an existing system, leads can be flagged with an exhibition source, meaning you can keep track of leads generated this way.

Categorising and Assigning Exhibition Leads

When organising your collated data, really think about how you can categorise and sort the exhibition leads to achieve maximum impact with your follow up. Being able to filter your database in an effective manner is always key, so including as much data as possible at the point of taking the lead is crucial. Data such as name, company and location should be standard, while you may also find it useful to have an extra section that allows your staff on the day of the exhibition to make brief notes such as ‘dog owner’ or ‘favourite football team’. This helps you to find common ground quickly and easily in that all important first follow-up. It’s also valuable to remember the person taking the lead is not always the person who follows up. Only the individual on the stand generating the leads is able to assess the urgency of a lead, and thus this should be recorded too, to help those who do follow up prioritise who to contact first. Having categorised your data effectively, you can now assign your leads to appropriate members of your sales team with a much more structured and tailored approach.

When do I Follow-Up?

As soon as possible is the short answer, as they say, strike while the irons hot. The sooner you get in touch with your exhibition leads, the fresher your company will be in their minds, and the easier it will be start and hold a conversation. However, make sure you’re not rushing into it unprepared, you don’t want to waste time or risk alienating those precious leads.

Introductory Email / Drip Campaign

A very effective method for following up leads, where there might not be an immediate sales opportunity, is by setting up a drip campaign. It can be an excellent tool for gaining a potential customer’s interest. Offering relevant information or special offers in your drip campaign will allow regular contact with these potential leads, while an introductory email being sent shortly after an exhibition can make an impact whilst you’re still fresh in a lead’s mind.

Calculating ROI

With leads recorded accurately in your database you can clearly and quickly see your return on investment by measuring how many of these exhibition leads turned into sales and then long-term customers. Your lead database should be linked to any sales information regarding order value and frequency, for example, allowing exact calculation of ROI from first order onwards. For more information on calculating ROI from an exhibition, try our mini-guide – you can download for free here.

Reviewing the Process

You should always complete a thorough review of the entire process; areas can always be tweaked or changed as you find out what works for your company. This includes identifying any areas that may yield better results, from initial contact to measuring ROI.
Having a fluid and concise process for taking information from potential customers, a clear and easy to navigate database and effective follow-up procedure is the key to achieving maximum sales and offering best ROI for your company to turn those leads into gold.

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