Generating and qualifying leads is much like the classic fairy tale “The Frog Prince”, or the more recent Disney version “The Princess and The Frog”… you have to kiss a few frogs to find a prince. Many clients can relate when it comes to finding better qualified leads and to turning them into sales.
First, let’s address your event marketing strategy. Your plan should include using direct mail, or an email campaign, to personally invite your best prospects to come see you at the show. But more than that you need to give them a reason why! Are you planning to launch a new product or service that would greatly benefit them? Can you offer them some sort of exclusive premium? Do you have big giveaway that requires them to fill out an entry form in your booth? Offer these special attendees something they can only get by visiting you at your show.
Second, you need to evaluate your display and your staff. Much like the curb appeal of your house, if your display does not look fresh and inviting, and your staff is not engaging, then people will just pass you by. The message and staff in your booth can dictate your success at the show! Update your graphics with clear messaging that compliments your corporate brand. And don’t forget your staff! Staffing is crucial, the sales reps from your office are not always the best people to “man” your booth. Many of our clients have been very successful at doubling their qualified leads by hiring trained Lead Generators. Hired talent will quickly become product experts and pull people into your booth to generate more qualified leads, normally more than your staff can.
Last but not least is the follow-up. Now that you have an abundance of qualified leads, what are you going to do with them? Most people make the mistake of dumping all the names into their database and relying on the occasional email campaign to maintain the relationship. You need to have a follow-up plan in place. Regardless of how you distribute the leads to your sales staff, they need to follow-up with each lead immediately the week after the show, send a thank you letter and then a 30 day follow-up, as an example. Just like the princess in the story, finding the frogs isn’t enough – you have to “kiss” them to find out which leads are just frogs and which ones are real princes. Because finding those princes is the only way for you - and your company – to live happily ever after!