Only Value Leads Can Increase Your ROI
If you know how to capture quality value leads a trade show participation might be just what your company needs to succeed. The only way to obtain reasonable ROIs from it is by collecting as many valuable leads as you can; studies show that the average response rate from an automated follow-up can be as low as 5% but a researched, sophisticated follow-up can result in a 4 times higher response rate!
This shows you the importance of researching and evaluating your trade show leads. The simple truth is that not every lead is going to be valuable and wasting too much time and resources on low-quality ones can cost your business a fortune.
So, how do you go about turning trade show attendees into loyal customers? Well, attracting trade show value leads is very similar to digging gold; you need to get through a ton of gravel and dirt to discover the gold nuggets.
Understanding your leads’ behaviour at the time they attend your booth is of the essence. Many of them are only there because they’re hoping to win a prize or because of a giveaway; as such, they’re unlikely to be intrigued by your company’s products and respond positively to your follow-up. Instead of wasting time on them, focus on the customers that are actually curious about what you have to offer. Another way to spot the ‘nuggets’ is looking for people who have an actual problem your business can solve, or turning to current customers who might attend the trade show because they’re looking for new information.
As a rule of thumb, focus on the large nuggets first. These quality leads would be easy to spot – they would be the attendees who paid attention to your demos or asked to be contacted. Attendees who also asked for more content or materials or were generally intrigued by your company (here’s where your body language expertise could play a huge role) are also worth following-up.
In a nutshell, to attract value leads, engage in lead recognition and qualification. Differentiate visitors and categorize them according to their value; then decide how much time to dedicate to each. A simple classification system can involve putting attendees into hot and cold leads, media, market & production partners and time thieves.
Value leads are always hot and need priority
The hot value leads are people who attended your trade show for a specific purpose and are intrigued by your product or service. All you need to do is convince them that your product will solve their problem at the right price. These prospects are your gold nuggets: identify them early on and prioritize them when it comes to interacting with them during the trade show and following up after.
The cold leads, on the other hand, might also be in your target audience but for some reason, might not be ready to commit to a purchase. Treat them similarly as the hot leads but make sure to put some extra time and effort into convincing them and following through with them.
Most trade shows will be attended by reporters, bloggers and media representatives; don’t ignore them just because they might not be interested in buying your product right now. In fact, media can be your greatest friend if you know how to engage reporters in the right way. Forget about ‘wowing’ them with technical details – give them your most striking demo and engage them in a friendly chat. Chances are, if you impress them, they might feature your product in their next piece.
Make sure to also dedicate some time to competitors, potential partners and suppliers – the latter can help with cross-promotion activities, and knowing what the competition is up to can help you stay on top of your game. And, regarding the time thieves – these are people looking for free samples or some chit-chat. Be polite but make sure not to waste too much of your time on them – remember, your gold nuggets are waiting for you.
So, what do you do once you’ve categorized a lead? Take a note of it, of course! Taking detailed notes and collecting data will ensure you can follow up with your quality leads without delay. Take information such as names, emails, company, position, phone number and the type of lead (media vs hot lead).
Value leads need digital support
Use comfortable digital lead retrieval and management apps running on your smartphone or tablet. The best ones can even take pictures from the attendee business card and convert those printed contact data automatically into your database. Don’t rely anymore on some handwritten notes on the back side of the business cards. This is like throwing your nuggets directly out of the window.
A neat trick is using tick boxes, drop down menus and tags whenever you can – this will help you identify your leads more quickly and organize them more efficiently once the trade show is over or even already during the show. These tags can include type of lead, product interest (if you have more than one), territory covered or country of origin, as well as visitor profile (e.g. marketing, sales, customer, value lead, etc).
Once you have identified and categorized your value leads, it’s time to follow up and convert them. The key to capturing those gold nuggets is personalization: personalize each interaction as much as you can. Use LinkedIn to gain more knowledge about the person and the company, try to connect with them as soon as possible. Nimble Social CRM is a great tool to scrape all available information within seconds from the web and store them in one database.
Always make sure to review your emails before you send them, add some personal touch, and consider using multiple channels such as phone or social media for communication. Ensure your email subject is creative but professional and send those follow-ups as soon as you can – don’t wait until the last moment.
Following these tips can help you successfully identify value leads and make the most of your next trade show. Make sure to spend enough time on hot and cold leads, mingle with media representatives and potential partners but steer clear of time wasters and tire kickers. The sooner you implement a follow-up plan in action (ideally, before the tradeshow has even started), the higher your chances of capturing the elusive gold nuggets of the tradeshow!