POV: It’s March, Spring is here, and we’re slowly beginning to reduce the number of layers we’ve been wearing outside.
It can only mean one thing…
Expo Season has arrived!
Who doesn’t love a good exhibition?
Due to the rise of the digital age, exhibitions are now held for businesses to expand their network, introduce themselves into new market sectors, examine the market, increase their brand awareness, reconnect with clients, and ultimately… sell.
Whether you are attending as a visitor or exhibitor, you can undoubtedly gain invaluable knowledge and insights from all that are attending. Not to mention, a great new list of connections, and business opportunities.
In fact, 90% of participants will go to a show specifically to find new products and services.
Within a few hours, you can conduct vital competitor analysis, experience various sales and marketing strategies, and leave with additional snippets of value to implement into your business.
Your biggest enemies when attending an exhibition will be:
- Not engaging; stand up, greet people, smile at those who walk past – if you are creating a welcoming atmosphere to your stand, you will naturally draw people to you.
- Sitting behind your stand; following on from the above point – if you’re creating distance between yourself and your prospect, if you’re not joining in with the atmosphere on the expo, you don’t seem excited to be representing your business… so why expect your prospects to be, if you’re not?
- Staring down at your phone; we understand that, as business owners, you often don’t get time to look away from your phone – but to prospects looking to speak to you, it doesn’t make you look inviting and ready to have a chat.
- Your competition; you need to stand out and be better than them to gain the attention of your prospects.
But, did you know… 64% of marketers have said that trade shows are used as their ideal source of new business opportunities, and the average ROI for expos is 25-34%.
Though immediate results cannot be guaranteed, to ensure you maximise your time spent at an expo and get the most out of the positive interactions you had, it is imperative to ensure that you have a structured follow up process in place to nurture your new, prospective clients.
So how do you create and stick to a follow up process that will generate results?
- By nurturing your leads.
- By giving frequent, but not constant, communication.
- Providing value and education to your prospects.
Let’s say you leave an expo with a handful of business cards, and you’ve had a variety of good conversations that you want to explore further.
You can do one of two things:
- Be lazy; send them an email explaining how amazing your business is, why they should work with you and a Calendly link for them to book in a call with you (ie, you make them do all the work).
- Be proactive; give them a call, asking informed questions about their business, figuring out their pain points, explaining how your business can solve their problems and suggest some available dates to book in a call to understand more of their business model (ie, you do all the work).
Be honest… what strategy do you usually take?
Hint: we’d recommend the second one.
To maximise your efforts at an exhibition, you need to build a foundation for a strong business relationship to flourish.
Not in any sense are we telling you to call your prospect 3 times a day until you get a response; what we mean is:
- Filter your leads according to priority and business type.
- Call prospects the following day.
- Follow up with a high value email, including examples of work you have undertaken that is relevant to their specific line of work and industry.
- On occasions, follow up with a call to see if they had received and had a chance to look over your email.
- Book in a no obligation meeting to give full insights and understanding on how you can work together, including strategy ideas, costs and likely ROIs.
- Often, follow up with a second call or email to gauge thoughts and answer any questions / queries.
No two leads are the same; whilst someone may decide to work with you in 24 hours, for others it may take months. The importance is that you are willing to ‘play the long game’, by respectfully and frequently following up with your prospects.
If you give the time and effort into building that relationship, eventually they will decide that now is the right time to convert into a client – meaning your efforts will be well worth it.
We know that the process can be monotonous and exasperating when you are waiting for the conversion to come over the line – especially when you have 101 other things to do.
What if we told you that we could do it for you? Yes… really!
We can follow your strict follow up process – or make one for you – from beginning to end; building relationships with your expo prospects, creating brand awareness, filling your diary with meetings and showcasing your business as the expert in your industry.
For more information, get in touch.
Happy Expo Season Everyone!