You budgeted to go to “Tradeshow X”. You covered space rental, booth costs, travel and entertainment, pre-promotion, shipping, on-site representation, and all the extraordinary costs that go into making a show a success. How many leads did you get? Did those leads make you feel like the show was a success? Was the show a success? What came from the show? Sorry to ask these questions, but the fact is that in many cases we show up and hope for success. We can do better.

Lead Qualifying
Determining who is a qualified lead from a non-qualified lead requires some beginning steps and these steps begin before you ever got to the show. Let’s create a profile of our qualified leads and define what would not be a qualified lead…non-qualified. Many people look past making a profile for the non-qualified. This is a mistake that will cost your on-site people a lot time. The reason to make the non-qualified profile is to help them identify who to spend less time on quickly. If they can move onto someone else then they have a better opportunity for success. The other key component is detailing how long a non-qualified discussion should last and how to exit these conversations effectively. I know you are probably saying that they know how to exit a non-productive conversation, but in the moment it is hard to really do. Try it with them and you will be happier for doing so.

Lead Tracking
Knowing that you need to track leads is the first step towards success. Knowing that there are tools that you can rent is even better for tracking leads. Creating a coding system for the types of leads is important, but keeping it simple st**id is the best advice. Tradeshow leads – hot leads, warm leads, cold leads, not leads are a good first pass to a coding system. Tracking your leads has to be important to your organization, but have you determined how long it will take to distribute the leads to your team or who on your teams are getting the leads. Believe it or not, it is quite common to come back from the tradeshow and let the leads sit and sit and oh yeah, sit. It happens all too often and it is just like putting them into an icebox.

Distributing Leads
Leads are all about speed. Once you have them all you should care about is getting them into the hands of someone that can take action to make a sale. Do you have a plan for distribution? Do you know who is going to handle it? Do you know if the people receiving leads are expecting? Do you know if the people receiving them know what to do with them and by when? Does everyone know how to report back on what is happening? These are just some of the questions that should outline distributing tradeshow leads.

Follow Thru
What do you expect your sales team to do with the leads? Have you worked with them to create a calling program or email campaign? Is every one of the leads getting some kind of promotion sent to them after the tradeshow? What can you do to make a connection once you are back from the show? Make sure you have a clear plan on how to execute follow thru. I am sure you won’t be surprised to find out that many of your leads fell thru the cracks and got freezer burn in the icebox. Happy hunting and warm up your leads with a solid plan for ROI.S.J.Hemley Marketing

Five Tradeshow Takeaways:

  1. Create qualified and non-qualified lead profiles prior to the show
  2. Determine tracking procedures and coding
  3. Have a clear process and expectations for distributing your leads
  4. Communicate your strategy for follow thru to all team members
  5. Have metrics that you will follow up on with the team to insure success

About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.