How to Make the Most of Your Trade Show Leads

BY Jessica Helinski
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Tis the season for trade shows! Hopefully, you will return home with some great leads and contact information. While you may be ready to hit the ground running, it's important your follow-​up calls are effective. Michael Pedone highlights what NOT to do when following up after a trade show. In his article for EyesOnSales​.com, he goes over how many reps make the same mistakes when following up post-show.

Often, when a rep first calls a contact, he or she opens with the following lines: “How’d you like the event?” or “You stopped by our booth and expressed interest in our (product or service)…” These openings should be avoided. Can you guess why?

The first line is merely menial chit chat. “C‑Level people don’t want to chitchat with someone they don’t know, especially after being away from the office all week (or weekend),” Pedone explains. “Now add that they will get 50 to 100 calls just like that in a matter of days from all of the other vendors inside sales teams and you can really see why they aren’t happy – or willing to talk.”

As for the second line, it’s not effective because likely, the prospect won’t remember you if it was a large show with many vendors. You’ll spend a lot of the call trying to make him or her recall you, your booth, and your product or service.

Instead, Pedone suggests treating these calls just like cold calls by showing what’s in it for them:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Thank him or her for coming by your booth
  • State your unique selling proposition

This type of opener works no matter what industry you are in. It’s the formula construction that is key,” he writes. Rather than relying on generic introductions, focus on what your product or service can do for the prospect. Mention your meeting at the trade show but spend more time on “hot buttons,” which will help you get the most out of the new contacts.