Alright: the expo is over, and you’ve got a fishbowl full of business cards (or a bucket of contact info slips from your prize drawing). What’s next?
If you read yesterday about rating your prospects during the expo, chances are you’ve worked out a system and indicated some of those contacts that are high-priority. Tackle them first! Your “A’s” should get your prompt attention the next business day after any tradeshow or expo. Try to customize your follow-up call or email by highlighting information this prospect might have shared with you when you saw them at your booth. “Hi Tom, it’s Jen from Redwood Productions. Yesterday at the Chamber Expo we spoke about your website – I’d love to talk more with you about a redesign. When would be a good time to get together?”
During your appointment with this new potential client, don’t assume that you’ve got an instant “in” because they stopped by your booth at the expo. It’s still your job to address their problems and alleviate their concerns. Ask questions and take note of your prospect’s answers. Aim to educate, not sell. Share your insights and knowledge about your product/service. This follow-up is an opportunity to expand on your initial contact, so make sure the potential client feels like you’re there to help them have a more in-depth discussion about their needs.
As a rule, only wait 1-3 days to follow up with your “A” contacts (3-10 for “B’s” and 10 or more for “C’s”).
Use an email newsletter (or email blast) as your follow-up tool, the sooner, the better! Use it as a “placeholder” for all your contacts and get it out the day after the expo. Then make sure you still send a personalized email (or phone call) to your “A” prospects.
You can also categorize your responses based on the prospect categories: “A’s” get a phone call and a personal email, “B’s” get a personal email, “C’s” get a general email newsletter or blast message.
Remember, you’ve already spoken to this person, AND they’ve seen your marketing materials. A prompt follow-up is a perfect opportunity to close a sale while you’ve still got some momentum and a reliable connection with your potential new client.