We all know that trade shows deliver a great way to develop a network of contacts and get more sales leads.

But when it comes to converting leads into sales, it’s what happens after the show that might matter most.

What are you doing to close those leads you’ve met? Many companies send out a blanket thank you email and take no further action, throwing away potentially lucrative opportunities. Instead of executing a half-hearted sales approach that goes nowhere, you want to make the most of the your new leads. By developing a process for your trade show follow-up, you’ll maximize your chances of closing leads while simultaneously sprucing up your sales funnel and improving your back-end efficiency as a whole.


Pick Your Product

When you have a new prospect, the last thing you want to do is inundate them with too much information or info that just isn’t of interest to them. This serves only to alienate this prospect before they even have the chance to get interested in what you have to say. Instead, pick just one area you want to focus on. It might be a new product, or it might be one with high margins. In time, you can tweak the process to focus on specific products you may have talked to individual leads about. But for now, stick with the basics until your proficiency improves.

Detail The Buying Process

What steps do your customers take in a typical buying process? We all know that selling to a potential customer is a lot easier when we put ourselves in their shoes and identify the steps they may take along the way. In many cases, the trade show contact is the first part of the buying process. From there, your prospective buyer may respond favorably to your emails, clicking through to download a white paper or watch a demo video. Then he or she then could be looking for something more hands-on, furthering the conversation to the point where a salesperson feels they have the ability to close the deal. Every buying process is different, and you certainly don’t want to pigeonhole people. However, a basic template for what both you and the prospect can expect will go a long way on both sides of the equation.

Pick Your Product

Prepare Your Content

Now that you know what to expect, you can start plugging in the pieces that will move the consumer along their path to purchase. It’s a good idea to make a list of all of your content and identify how each piece can be used – for instance, what types of campaigns it might pair with, what keywords it uses, and when each piece could be used in the process of closing a lead. If this review highlights something you’re missing, you’ll have time to create it before your next trade show. When your content is ready to go, write out the emails for each step of your campaign.

Analytics Dashboard

Automate the Process

By now, you’ve got a well-tuned marketing machine. You have a defined purpose, a comprehensive buying process, and the content and emails necessary to drive that process. Your next task is to automate your new process so that you can spend less time doing the manual work behind this process, instead you can focus your energy on things like interpreting data and talking to your best prospects. This automated system of lead nurturing will also help you to continue providing relevant and helpful data to people on the fence, further encouraging them to consider your product when they’re ready to make a purchase.

To learn more about post-show follow-up and to see real-life examples of this process in action, click here to download our free guide, “Your Lead Follow-Up Plan for Trade Shows.”