Friday, 15 June 2012

Exhibition Leads - Top Tips to Improve Lead to Sales Conversions

I was talking with an exhibition stand contractor the other day and I couldn't believe it when he told me that on several occassions over the years, when breaking down his clients' stands after a major event, he had found all the visitors business cards - leads with the potential to turn into orders - left in the rubbish to be discarded! Can you believe it? Well it's true, but I'm sure that's not you.

You've just invested a great deal of time & money on a great exhibition and now the orders will start pouring in - or not. For every lead that you have gathered, business card, completed info request form, enquiry etc.,  your competitors will probably have gathered the same. Potential and existing customers are now making their decisions about which product/service they may like to purchase. To make that decision they will probably need to speak to the potential supplier - but which one? It may well be decided by the speed and professionalism of the follow up response. Make it your Company.

Tips to gain maximum conversions from leads to sales:
  1.  Enter leads onto a database
  2. Prioritise leads into existing & potential customers
  3. Allocate who will handle the follow up for each lead
  4. Acknowledge & thank every lead within 3 days of the event. 
    1. This can be by email or phone call according to priority.
    2. At this stage it doesn't need to be the sales person responsible for that lead to call as this is an acknowledgement, so involve other members of staff.
  5. Plan the acknowledgement and, if possible, include a call to action - special offer or diarised appointment for sales person
  6. If there are more leads than can be acknowledged in that timescale consider using an outsourced telemarketing company
  7. Measure the results
Make every event a great experience for your existing and potential customers, which will make more profit for you.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Events & Exhibitions - An opportunity to give great Customer Experience!

 This is your chance to showcase your business so communicate your objectives to your team. Brief them at the start of each day about:-
The products/services on display
What information they need to capture from visitors
Staff rotation to ensure that the stand is always manned
Who is the stand manager for the day/period?
Who is responsible for gathering and collating orders/information?
 Debrief at the end of each day.

This will be the first time that many potential customers have personal contact with your business. 1st impressions count and how your team act will be more important than your impressive stand. Impress on them that their behaviour and attitude are on show to prospective and existing customers as well as suppliers and competitors:-
Do they represent the image that you want your company to be recognised for?
Is it the same at the end of the day as at the beginning?
Total knowledge of products/services on offer – visitors will not be impressed if they have to wait while information sought from another member of the team
Knowledge of competitor products/services
Do they have pen & notebooks to take details?
Ask questions about the customer’s needs – people do not like to be sold to, they like to buy.
Give your visitor your undivided attention
Don’t stand in groups – it can be intimidating to new customers
Don’t email or use phones while manning the stand

Visitors have invested time and effort to attend and nearly 80% will have a plan – ensure that they are impressed with how they are treated when they visit your stand.

Paul Clayton is business management & training consultant specialising in creating high performance cultures and helping businesses to grow by improving strategic Sales & Marketing planning, Customer Experience Management (CEM) and communication.