There are many metrics you can use to define what a successful trade show is. The number of visitors to your booth, number of demonstrations done, or even the number of business cards collected.
But probably the most important, and really the only one that matters is the number of leads that turn into customers.
It’s not enough to simply show up and hand out trade show giveaways to any person that stops by.
You need to have a plan. And you need to execute it before, during, and after the conference.
This is why it’s important to have proven, successfully used, follow-up email scripts at the ready for your marketing and sales team.
I’m sure you understand that you need to follow up but unless it’s done effectively, the conference you just spent a lot of money attending could all be for naught.
Make them appropriate to your business and your prospects and you’ll have great success.
Before we get into the actual email scripts there are a few basic things you need to know to be as effective as possible when using these or any script.
First and foremost it’s important that you follow up quickly. No later than a week after but preferably a day or two after the event ends.
Let me break this down a little more.
The Day After The Event*: You might think it’s a good idea to follow up later that day/night or at worse the day after but this is actually not the best idea.
There are a few reasons for this.
First, the conference might still be going on. If it is then your prospect will probably be way too busy to read or respond to your message. And consequently, it might slip through the cracks.
Second, they might be traveling. Even if it was only a single day conference or you spoke with them during the last day, they will likely be traveling. The same concept applies as if the conference is still going on. They will simply be too busy trying to get home that your follow up will not get the attention it deserves.
Third, you’ll be really busy. Just like the prospect you too will be swamped between hosting an exhibit, breaking one down, and traveling. Adding in immediate follow ups will not help the situation and will force you to spend less time on the follow-up than you should.
So ideally want to follow up a day or two after the event. This will give them enough time to settle back into thier normal schedule and give you enough time to do the same and properly execute your follow up plan.
*The one stipulation to this recommendation is that you should only follow up on work days. That way you know it won’t be buried immediately below a day or two worth of email.
No Later Than A Week After The Event*: At the very latest you should do your initial outreach no later than a week after the conference.
Any amount of time after that and you are likely to be forgotten or otherwise appear as just another sales call.
If you reach out within a week then their memories are still fresh from the event and they will likely still be hyped up from what they saw and learned during the show.
*Again, your follow-up should only be done during the standard work days of your prospects.
This should be a no brainer but it’s important that you remember to reference where you met or some other aspect of your meeting. to remind them why they should read your email.
A quick note before diving in. Remember that each person and business have their own voice. While I have used the below scripts to be successful myself, you need to adjust them to fit your individual style and voice.
This should be the first sentence in your follow up and provides the reason why they should read the rest of your email.
This turns your cold call into a warm lead and keeps you from being deleted prematurely.
When possible you should add a personal touch to your follow-up. Something specific about your conversation or anything that will help get immediate rapport with them.
This may be something memorable about the trade show or a commonality you two share.
Now that we’ve covered the basics it’s time to breakdown follow-up email scripts that will help you be successful.
I’ve broken them down into two situations:
We always hope the majority of leads are warm leads. Folks you met during the trade show who are interested in your offering, currently in the market for your type of services, and within your ideal client profile.
The sad truth is this is usually not the case. This is why it’s vital that you put a priority on these warm leads first and have a plan of attack for each one.
The great thing about warm leads is that they probably are already expecting your outreach and likely gave you a lot more information to work with than the other attendees who just dropped their card off in a bowl.
The vast majority of leads you’re likely to get are cold to lukewarm leads. These are the folks who just stopped by to get a free promotional item or put their card in a bowl to win a free Fitbit.
They were at the show for some reason but they have yet to be qualified or might never be.
To Your Success,
~ Johnny Bravo
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