In a recent article, we talked about how to develop quality leads at a trade show using a number of best practices. These practices included proper planning, good sales techniques, and tools like lead retrieval.
But once you’ve got a hot lead, what’s the next step? Read on to discover the trade show lead nurturing best practices savvy sales teams are using right now to convert those leads into new business relationships.
What is Lead Nurturing?
It’s not enough to simply get good leads at the show, you need to be able to turn those leads into a sale. That is where lead nurturing fits in. Lead nurturing involves repeated interactions with a prospect with the goal of converting interest in your product to a need. These interactions are typically accomplished through Email and social media.
We will see some of the key parts of lead nurturing in a moment, but first we need to establish some steps that you will need to do at the trade show for the process to work properly.
- Ask permission to stay in contact with your lead. Since you will be sending information to the person on a regular basis, you need to get him or her to agree to be part of the program. Otherwise, you will be quickly thought of as a spammer and the rest of the process will not work.
- Find out the person’s interests. This is especially important if you have multiple products or services. Send irrelevant information and the lead will lose interest and end the conversation.
- Identify quality leads. This should be standard practice, but it’s good to keep in mind. You do not need to waste effort interacting with people who have no need for what you offer. You especially do not want to create enemies by targeting campaigns against the wrong people.
6 Critical Lead Nurturing Best Practices for Trade Shows, Conferences & More
Now that you did the proper legwork at the trade show, you are now ready to launch an effective lead nurturing campaign. Here are some of the important components of a successful strategy.
- Reach out to the lead immediately after the show, this is the most important thing. Do not let weeks pass by while you get yourself together – the lead will quickly forget you and the momentum of your initial meeting will be lost. Whether your reach out via an Email, phone call or social media, make sure it is done right away.
- Be consistent with your follow ups. There is a general consensus that generally a lead should not be contacted weekly (unless they ask you or you are ready to close), but on a semi-regular basis ranging from one week to several.
- Vary the types of media used for contacting leads. One week might be email, another might be a phone call and yet another might be via social media like LinkedIn.
- Use educational material to build a relationship with your lead. This can be anything from a pertinent industry article, to a story from your blog, to one of your company’s white papers. As you develop yourself as a “go to” person for quality information, you will also establish yourself as trustworthy.
- Look for any changes in the relationship. If you start getting a series of questions related to your product, it might be time to go from lead nurturing to full sales mode.
- Track, track, track. Use software to track interactions with your prospects. Are they reading your material? Are they clicking on your links? Of course, always record these interactions in your CRM software.
To consistently turn trade show leads into sales you need to have a good process which consistently implements your company lead nurturing best practices.