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:
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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]
3 key steps to getting your food or drink product listed in farm shops and delis
1. Plan carefully.
It is really easy to get over-enthusiastic and start approaching farm shops and delis before you are ready to sell. Here’s a quick check-list of the things you need to make sure you have in place to help you sell your food or drink product to the farm shop and deli managers:
- Costings – do you have an idea of your rrp (the price the shop will sell your product at) and does your cost price allow the shop to make 40% margin as well as you making a profit?
- Do you know how you will deliver your product – yourself? A courier?
- Is your labelling legal and does it have all the required information on it?
- Have you done shelf-life testing?
- Have you got outer case packaging sorted?
2. How to approach the buyer/shop manager.
- Decide on your approach – are you going to phone to get appointments? Are you going to call on the shops in person with samples on the off chance? (Relish Tip: always make the most of every appointment by doing research and seeing what other stores/sales opportunities might be nearby)
- Make sure you have a hand-out to leave them with all the info they will need to know – price, case size, minimum order quantity, lead time, delivery costs and not forgetting your contact details!
Be knowledgeable – not only about your product – but about competitor products and the wider category. Don’t forget the shop manager might have to make a decision whether to list your product or a competitors – there is only so much space on the shelves!
3. Supporting your listing.
- Once you’ve done the hard work of getting the listing – unfortunately it doesn’t stop there! Don’t forget to tell people where they can get your product (via social media, email lists, website etc).
- Also – offer support to the store – can you do samplings in store for example to help with sales – particularly a good idea at launch to encourage trial and at key seasonal times of the year such as Easter, Mother’s Day, Xmas etc
If you have any questions about this topic we would love to hear from you simply email [email protected] and we will do our best to help.
Don’t forget you can check out our FREE 30-day trial of the Relish Food Marketing Club where there are oodles more resources and mentoring from the Relish team to help you with your food or drink business.