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]
How to Turn Your Leads into Customers
Many people are great at planning for food and drink exhibitions, sparkle on the stand – but then wonder a couple of months down the line why they haven’t got lots of new customers?
The issue being that understandably you are exhausted after an exhibition, probably have lots of stuff to catch up on when you get back to your HQ and you just haven’t managed to convert those leads into sales.
Here are 5 Top Tips to help you next time you are doing a show, or indeed if you have a pile of leads from a recent show that is waiting your attention!
Block out your diary
It is critical to give yourself time after an exhibition or show a) to recover and b) to follow up on those leads. So make sure you block out a day in your diary for follow ups. This may mean you may need to get cover in to help you bake/pack/sell, but it should certainly be worth it if it means you have time to convert leads into sales.
Be effective and consistent at capturing leads
Often there may be more than just you on the stand talking to leads so make sure the team has a consistent way of capturing leads and taking notes – it may be done electronically. However, I find it’s always good to make a couple of notes at the time about each lead – you may think you will remember – but after a few days on a stand talking to lots of people it’s not that easy! And it will make your follow ups much more personal and targeted if you can refer to specific bits of your conversation on the stand.
Prepare for follows up before the show
Sound absurd? But it will save you time afterwards. You can draft a thank you email for the interest and for visiting your stand before the exhibition, that is then ready to go out straight after the show. This then gives you a few days to be able to answer each lead individually. Try and answer all leads within a week of the show.
Be Structured and Persevere
Whatever CRM system you are using – it may be a simple spreadsheet – make sure you are structured in your approach. Note each time you’ve called/contacted them, when to call back, what the next steps are etc . Within reason I always say follow up every lead until you either get an order or a no – and even the “no” is only a “no for now” – capture them somewhere to give them a call in a few months! Perseverance is the key – it may take 7 or 8 calls/emails before you get an answer.
You never know who knows who
You will probably be looking out for “key” people to visit your stand – but don’t forget you never know who knows who. So even if a visitor on your stand isn’t one of your “key” targets make sure you treat them as if they were – you never know who they may recommend your products to.
For more information on how to convert leads into customers, just drop us a line at [email protected] or call Jo on 0772 3351884.