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Tired Feet, Great Memories And A Pockets Full Of Leads From The Trade Show

Jan 29, 2008
Thankfully you are back home after the trade show. It was a great show and you got the attention your had hoped for. To prove it, you have a stack of business cards in your briefcase. Now to turn those leads into sales!

This time you have the assurance that the sales people will get right on the A leads in the next 48 hours and the rest have certain process outlined for each category.

You can pat yourself on your back that you started the overall follow up process BEFORE you went to the show!

And now you can relax while these interested companies get the desired level of contact from you.

In the past, this scenario was totally different. The leads that were brought back by marketing never had any traction within your old firm.

They somehow got lost on arrival.

Congratulations, you are now apart of the select few companies who actually do something after the trade show.

CEIR (Center for Exhibition Industry Research) reports in one of their Guru Reports that 80% of trade show leads are never followed up. This seems such a shame.

It is more than a shame - effort, time and money went into getting you to the show and now, no one seems to care that there were prospects expecting something from you, based upon a conversation in your booth.

Well, that is the old story - and thank goodness! You have learned your lessons.

It was a hard earned lesson - when you found out that the hot prospect from a show ordered that expensive product from a competitor because the sales person did not follow up with them after the show.

The Sales Lead Management Association has conducted its 2nd Annual Sales Lead Management Survey.

Here are some of the results from their Executive Summary:

"This Sales Lead Management Survey was taken by 144 southern California, primarily small, private businesses. The results indicate we have not progressed very far in 41 years. 68.8% of those who took the survey still do not qualify inquires before giving them to their salespeople. 52.4% still have no formal process for compiling sales forecast reports. And 82.8% do not track the return on investment for lead generating investments."

Their website is http://www.salesleadmgmtassn.com/surveyresults.htm

What does a company do to correct this situation?

Ask this important question: what will it take for the sales people to recognize the value and respect the leads that are generated by trade show marketing?

The answer can shape the success of all future lead generation programs.

Remember, it is crucial that sales people get right on the A leads within 48 hours and the rest of the leads have certain process outlined for each category.

Of course, this means you must qualify the leads according to criteria that allow you to determine whether they are A leads or not.

You will want to consider factors such as budget, whether the contact person has decision authority, whether they need your product or service, and within what time frame they intend to make a purchase.

Again, most companies have no formal process for compiling sales forecast reports, and worse, do not track the return on investment from their trade show lead generation efforts.

As you can see, many companies struggle with these issues and some have won the battle.

One thing is clear: the winners begin the follow up and sales process before the trade show begins!
About the Author
For 25 years Joyce McKee has helped companies succeed in the trade show and event world. Keep up with the latest trends her new site at http://www.letstalktradeshows.com
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