Qualifying trade show leads the right way

Qualifying trade show leads the right way

Qualifying Trade Show Leads…Quality Matters … Not Quantity

Qualifying trade show leads leads at the show is a skill that is often unappreciated and misunderstood. Statistics indicate that of every 100 visitors at a trade show, only 10 are qualified to purchase. And of those 10 visitors, only 3 have an immediate need to buy. Like a prospector panning for gold, how does your booth staff sift through the multitude of visitors to find those treasured qualified leads? There are only two parts to qualifying trade show leads. The answer lies in staff conduct, and the ability to ask the right open-ended questions to complete the qualification process quickly and efficiently.

Show floors are noisy, so exhibit staff must talk slowly and clearly. Maintain good eye contact to demonstrate that you’re listening and that the visitor has your full attention. When speaking to more than 1 visitor be certain to address each of them equally. Avoid criticizing your competitors. Remain standing with your arms at your sides or cupped beneath your waist, and remain polite and friendly.

Some exhibit staffers try to sell to everyone, which is frustrating and unproductive. What you need to do is use the first minute or two to qualify prospects before beginning a mini-presentation or a more in-depth conversation. You may find yourself talking to an enthusiastic listener who has absolutely no intention of ever buying your product or service. Use open-ended questions to quickly ascertain whether this visitor warrants more of your precious attention.
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A trade show timeline to keep you on track

A Trade Show Timeline Or Trade Shows By The Numbers

Smart companies create a trade show timeline long before exhibiting to ensure a successful outcome and to optimize their trade show budget. By following this trade show timeline you will keep your trade show planning activities on schedule. And rest easy if you encounter unexpected glitches, since this trade show timeline has been intentionally designed to allow a little leeway for the unforeseen.

12 Months Prior to Show – Strategize

  • Determine how trade shows will complement your overall marketing/sales strategy
  • Research and identify which trade shows are worthwhile to attend
  • Request show statistics from event sponsors, including past attendee numbers and profiles, and vendor participation
  • Develop your trade show budget and projected return on investment

9 to 12 Months Prior to Show – Be Objective

  • Establish show objectives (number of product sales, generated leads, publicity, etc.)
  • Set exhibit objectives (space requirements, type, display and promotional items needed)
  • New or existing exhibit?
  • Register and reserve exhibit space with event sponsor after studying floor plans and anticipated traffic flow patterns
  • Request exhibit requirements and review the booth space contract
  • Mark your calendar with deadlines for booth space deposit and balance payments
  • Create a trade show marketing plan including pre-show, at-show, and post-show marketing activities

6 to 9 Months Prior to Show – Unleash Your Creativity

  • Specify and develop your marketing activities (advertising, direct mail, email campaign, promotional items, giveaways)
  • Begin design and print work on literature and marketing materials for show distribution
  • Establish a budget for your exhibit
  • Select a exhibit designer/builder and begin design work for the exhibit, banners, accessories, literature racks and other items
  • Develop an engaging sales message that conveys the key points you want your staff to communicate at the exhibit Read More

Pre-show marketing for trade shows

Pre-Show Marketing  For Trade Shows Is All About Getting Prospects Before They Get To The Show

Time has shown that flashy booths, crazy contests and generous promotional giveaways will attract crowds to an exhibit. Sure, crowds are often a good sign. But are these hordes of visitors all considered qualified buyers? Not necessarily. You want the right type of trade show attendees at your booth. And to achieve this objective, your company must start promoting your trade show attendance long before the show begins. Pre-show marketing for trade shows is an essential part of your overall strategy. Companies who reach out to attendees prior to the show consistently report greater satisfaction with their trade show performance. So how do you encourage attendees to visit you at the show?

An effective pre-show marketing for trade shows strategy begins with the identification of your target audience. A targeted audience can be derived from the pre-registration list and/or your list of existing customers and clients. Be certain to tailor your messages to the concerns, interests and needs of your prospects.

Next, you must have an enticing offer. Brainstorm with your staff to determine what will lure qualified buyers and important customers to your booth. Is it an exclusive “by invitation only” savings offer, an educational seminar lead by an industry expert, or the promise of a new product? The classic “two-part” promotion can also work well. Targeted audiences are sent one half of a useful gift before the show, with an invitation to pick up the second half at your booth.
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