How to convert your leads into customers after a food trade show

You’ve spent months preparing for your first trade show, you’ve created a great stand, fantastic marketing material, you’ve dazzled and spoken to numerous people about your food or drink product during the show, you’ve packed up and are finally heading back to HQ – exhausted!

But don’t be fooled into thinking that’s the show over and done with!  It’s at this very point when the really hard work kicks in!   You need to convert those interested leads into actual customers!

Here’s my Top 5 Tips of how to achieve this:

  1. Follow up all your leads within 24 – 48 hours with a simple “thank you for visiting your stand” email. This is not only polite to acknowledge their interest in your brand but it also gives you more time to then work methodically through the leads to answer them in more detail, knowing that everyone has at least had some contact from you.   (Relish Tip:  Draft and get the email set up before the show so that it is ready to go out as soon as you have your list of visitors emails ready)
  2. Follow up every lead until there is an answer. This takes a lot of patience and tenacity.  You can often get swept away with the day to day running of your business.  Don’t forget however that you invested in the show to presumably gain more business – so the follow ups are just as critical as the show itself – maybe even more so.
  3. If you don’t have a CRM system in place, make sure you have at least a spreadsheet set up where you can track all your follow ups and the action needed and by which date.
  4. This may sound obvious– but I see a lot of people fall down here – make sure you set aside enough time after the show to do all the follow ups in the subsequent weeks. This may mean clearing your diary for a couple of weeks or even getting in extra help with the day to day running of the business for a few weeks so that you can focus on the follow ups.  Don’t underestimate how much time you should devote to converting these leads into customers.
  5. Finally communicate with your social media community, write a post-show blog to show your followers how successful the show was, include photos, feedback and any other exciting news about the show – it all helps to keep your brand at front of mind.

Good luck!  If you have any questions on this topic, please email [email protected]