The event ended, your custom tents are folded and all your promotional equipment is stored so now you’re back to the office. It’s now time to start devising a way to follow up with potential customers you have met at the show. Indeed, capitalizing on new leads from outdoor expos and trade shows is key for generating new business. In the weeks that follow the event, take the time to share highlights from the event by reaching out to those new contacts and scheduling meetings to showcase everything that your business has to offer. When executed successfully, these efforts just might result in some new clients.
Follow Up With New Contacts
You shook hands at the event and promised to contact new leads soon. Be true to your word and do just that. Within a week of the event, reach out to potential leads by phone or email. Reiterate how much you enjoyed speaking with them and be specific. Follow-up calls and emails don’t have to be generic. Instead, add one personalized detail to the conversation — whether you reflect on the client’s business goals or reflect on a conversation about a shared hobby. This personal message allows you to engage with the potential client in a meaningful way. Rather than coming off like a sales pitch, your message will present you as someone that this client will want to do business with.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Social media allows you to connect with those warm leads beyond the trade show booth. First, use this forum to share news, photos and videos from your event. This social engagement has several important benefits. First, it allows you to promote your brand on social media, illustrating the fun side of the event. Next, social media posts give you a reason to connect with those potential clients you met at the trade show booth. When you post photos or videos of these leads, you can tag them in the media. This virtual connection via social media then prompts the lead to check out your social media presence, giving the potential client the opportunity learn more about your organization.
There are additional ways to connect with your new leads over social media. Keep an active business page on LinkedIn, and have your salespeople seek out these leads and connect with them. Share company and industry news on LinkedIn as well. In addition to finding your potential clients on Twitter, add them to industry-specific Twitter lists, as well as customer resource management lists. An active social media presence helps you market your business after the event and connect with your leads in new, technologically sophisticated ways.
Get Together Again
Nothing beats face-to-face engagement when it comes to drumming up new business. You’ve sent a follow-up email and engaged with those warm leads on social media. Now, you want to see them again to seal the deal and ensure they will become a customer. Host a happy hour for your most recent outdoor expo and trade show connections. Keep the event well staffed and intimate enough that you get some one-on-one time with each lead. This casual environment will allow you to develop your relationship with your leads, potentially resulting in new business.
For more one-on-one interaction, set up business lunches with your new connections. This intimate setting allows you to follow up on discussions held during the event and, if things go well, you can seal the deal. Finally, consider visiting the potential client at his or her office. Always bring some treats for the office to share, and set up a product or service demonstration so that the client can learn more about what you have to offer.
A successful event should be the start, not the finish, of your lead generation. Following-up ensures that you reconnect with your clients and build mutually beneficial relationships that help your business grow.