Trade Show Leads – Don’t Waste Them!
In order to maximise the success of any trade show stand, an effective method of capturing trade show leads from people who visit your stand is vital.
It is vital whether the person you are speaking to is a ‘red hot’ prospect or someone who might consider using your product or service in months (or even years), to come.
Gathering information need not be complicated, in fact, the simpler the methods you employ, the less likely it is that something will go wrong. So whether you have a pop up displays stand, a bespoke stand or a modular one, use the list below for some easy ways to capture information.
If you have some other great tips, please let me know in the comments section below.
Gathering Trade Show Leads Information
Exhibition Enquiry Forms. These are the most simple form of capturing information and should comprise pre-printed forms that you can just fill in whilst chatting. The information should be basic, but must include contact information and the type of product or service that the person is interested in and the sort of timescale they are looking to. These forms should always be available whatever other methods of capturing are in place and you should always end the conversation with an agreement about what action is needed (e.g. I will ring you on Tuesday after the show and arrange a meeting or, I will ask the office to send the information you requested and I will call you next Friday when you have had chance to look at it). Once you have agreed action it is VITAL, ABSOLUTELY FUNDAMENTAL to your success, that you STICK TO IT!
- Electronic Lead Retrieval and Scanners. Although these are more expensive than the paper method mentioned above, they are an excellent method of capturing information and of categorising the type of lead you are gathering. These lead retrieval systems and scanners can be hired for the duration of the show and whilst individual systems vary, the basic system is very similar with the data either being supplied back to you at the end of the day or stored as in the video below. This method of lead capture allows you to collect a lot of information, for example that a visitor to the stand who may want an appointment arranged, the information can be placed in a further sub-category for each sales person’s area and placing this lead in the relevant sales area category. Other categories could include information pack to be sent, quotation required, customer service visit required (for existing customers), etc.
Gathering Trade Show Leads With A Scanner
- Information gathering linked to Give-aways. These may include for example scratch cards which require the back to be completed before collecting the prize or, the peel-off alternative. Of course, there are many variations of these. At a large lunch (where a few exhibitors had been invited to take stands), I realised that the number of people who would bother to look at the stands would be minimal so I obtained permission to place a peel-off card at every place setting. A large proportion of the people attending the lunch filled in the back of the card and returned it to the stand to collect their prize. Although this meant ringing some people who were not potential customers, to ascertain whether they had any requirement, it generated a lot of leads and business.
- Business Cards. I think that the concept of putting business cards into a draw for a bottle of champagne is now very ‘old hat’; a business card in exchange for a small prize is not. It is another method of capturing information, although it does presuppose that visitors will have business cards which of course in a retail exhibition is extremely unlikely.
- Have well trained Trade Show Staff. The final method of capturing trade show leads and sales prospects information depends on training your staff to ask the right questions. It is important that each stand member develops a questioning technique. This must involve some banter and some general chat (for example, the weather, difficulties in parking at the exhibition, sympathising with the visitor being tired, etc.). The only way to find out whether they are a prospective customer and what product area they require is to ask detailed questions; if necessary have a check list as part of your exhibition enquiry form. Remember that the more you find out on the stand about a prospect, the less you will have to do on the telephone after the exhibition.