If you operate a business using mailing lists, consumer mailing lists, opportunity seeker mailing lists or MLM mailing lists to target Opportunity Seekers, Business Opportunity Seekers, MLM Opportunity Seekers and Home Based Business Opportunity Seekers, you can benefit from reading this article.
HOW TO GET VALUABLE LEADS FREE AT TRADE SHOWS
|Many companies use trade show exhibits successfully to generate new prospects and deepen existing relationships. Others find shows too costly in dollars and people resources. If exhibiting at shows is not right for your company, you might still benefit from these nine strategies for Mining For Sales Leads At Trade Shows. A good way to find new prospects is to exhibit at trade shows. You have a booth where people can come to find out more about what you do, you talk to prospects, and you hand out literature. You may even build awareness of your company by delivering a seminar on some important topic. That's why so many companies invest large sums of money on trade show exhibits. They know that show participation generates leads. But what if you don't have the financial and other resources to be an exhibitor? Can you still use a trade show to develop good sales leads? The answer, of course, is yes. Here are some tips for prospecting at trade shows.
Trade Show Strategy #1
Decide What You Want To Accomplish At The Show
|Depending upon what you sell, there are many ways you might grow your business by prospecting at shows. Just some of the prospecting possibilities are:
Meet and speak with show attendees who may be prospects.
Learn more about exhibitors who may be prospects.
Talk with consultants who may refer you to their clients.
Identify editors from the press who might write about your company.
Network with other sales people and organizations to share leads.
In addition to prospecting, you can listen to competitive presentations for ideas on how to sell against them and you can listen to the types of questions prospects ask these exhibitors to give you a better idea of what customers want. Since there are so many different ways to prospect at shows, you have to decide first what you want out of the show.
Trade Show Strategy #2
Select A Trade Show Where Your Prospects Are Likely To Be
After you have set your goals for the show, your next decision is which trade shows to attend for prospecting purposes. That process is pretty straight forward. Every business specialty has a trade organization or some major source that they use for gathering their information. And most of these organizations and sources know that they serve their area of expertise well through trade shows.
The easiest type of show to prospect is one where potential customers are themselves exhibiting. They make it easy. You know exactly where to find them. And they have a whole booth filled with information about themselves, their products and services. But even when your targets are attendees like yourself, it's still possible to do some successful targeting. There are many business and consumer shows that offer myriad - and often surprising - lead-generation and networking opportunities. For example, if you have a product or service for small businesses, a great way to meet the owners of small businesses is to attend a home show or flower show where they are exhibiting. When and where these shows are scheduled are easily learned by calling the sponsoring organization or by watching newspapers and trade journals. Also, contact the convention centers or exhibit halls in your area for a complete schedule of upcoming shows. There are likely to be several specialized shows you have never heard of where you can meet prospects.
Trade Show Strategy #3
Set Yourself An Agenda For The Show
|Your next step is to determine exactly what you are going to accomplish at the show. Think in advance about who you are trying to prospect and how you are going to reach them in this show. Set some goals for how many contacts you are going to make. At most business-oriented shows, you wear a badge identifying your company affiliation. You need to decide whether to identify your true employer (if your major goal is to prospect) or whether to conceal the nature of your employment (if your major goal is to snoop on your competitors).
Trade Show Strategy #4
Review The Landscape
As soon as you get to the show, it's easy to just go out on the floor and start handing out your card or brochure. Unfortunately, without some type of plan, too many of these cards and brochures will end up in the round file.
Instead, do a slow tour of the show. Stop by each one of the booths. Talk to the reps. Listen to their pitches. Pick up their literature. Invest time in them to ensure you know what their business is about.
Also walk around the show facility to identify quiet places to talk; so if you meet a good prospect, you can suggest you both sit down in a comfortable place to talk.
Trade Show Strategy #5
Evaluate Your Best Prospects
When you are all done with your overview of the show, go back to a quiet place and take stock of what you have. Using the floor plan in the show literature, go back over your tour booth by booth. Think about each of the people you met, the companies they represent and how likely they are to be a prospect for your products and services. Then make some decisions about your next steps.
Some of the people aren't good prospects for you. Keep these people as your C list which means maybe later, but not now. Eliminate them from your list of people you are going to spend time with at the show. Some people are real targets. This is your A list. Make sure you save time to go the next step with each one of them and that you have a carefully thought-out plan of action.The rest are somewhere in between. This is your B list. Either they don't fit all of your parameters, or you just aren't sure enough to determine whether they are As or Cs. These are ones that should also be pursued, but maybe with less intensity.
Trade Show Strategy #6
Build A Battle Plan
Before you go out on the floor again, set up a battle plan. For each of the companies you want to talk with, review everything you know. Take the perspective: "What do I know about this company or these people which will help me start a conversation with them?" Pick something of interest or of importance to them, that is somehow related to what you are selling. You want a topic that can easily get them talking, and can lead you to an appointment. (This is one of the reasons for your overview tour - to give you useful insights and information you can use to start a conversation.)
Part of your strategy is also to get to the right person. Now that person may or may not be at the show. But try if possible to get to the most accessible decision maker. Finally, pick a time to talk with your targets. Trade shows have cycles with peak periods and down periods. You won't get much attention when your target's mind is on answering questions for 10 people or targeting his own leads. Pick a relatively quiet time, when those booth people would like to have someone to talk to.
Trade Show Strategy #7
Implement Your Plan
|Finally, it's time for action. Find a company on your B list and ask for the most senior person there. See if you can get to this person and try to get a conversation going on the topic you identified during your planning. Most likely you can get to this point. Now that you have opened a door, set up an appointment to talk further. If your goal is to prospect among exhibitors, remember this: each of them is there to sell - not to buy. They don't want you to walk into their booth to pitch to them. It is usually best to wait until the key person in the booth is free, make a brief introduction, and say something like: I know you are busy here in the booth, so I won't take up your time now. But I do have something that I think would interest you. Please give me your card and I will call you in about a week. What day would be best? Continue going through your B list, seeing what works and what doesn't until you feel you have the formula just right and you are consistently getting appointments. Now you are ready to work on your A list.
Trade Show Strategy #8
Go After Attendees Through Seminars And Presentations
Not all of your targets are exhibiting. Many may be attending the show for their own benefit. Attendees go to shows to see the exhibits and attend the sessions. Your best way to meet these people is through the seminar and presentation sessions. Take a look at the trade show agenda and try to determine the most popular sessions. Plan to attend them yourself.During the formal presentation, take good notes on areas that apply to your selling. Before and after the presentation, talk to as many of the people around you as you can, and collect business cards.
Trade Show Strategy #9
Follow-up With Attendees
|After the show, start following-up with each of the people you met at these sessions. Depending on the number, use a letter or a phone call to make contact. Use the content of the presentation or something you spoke about with them as the focus of your conversation with each of these attendees, finishing up with some question you would like to explore further in your next conversation. That conversation is, of course, your first appointment.If some of your prospects were show exhibitors, remember that these people will be very busy right after the show sending out literature and following up on their own hot leads. Consider waiting a week to 10 days before contacting them.
Just A Few More Ideas...
Share booth space
|If there is an exhibitor at the show which sells to the same kinds of prospects as you, but is not a competitor, ask whether you can pay a modest fee (say $50 or $100) to set a rack of your brochures in their booth.
Similar to placing your literature in someone else's booth is arranging to have access to their sales leads. Perhaps you can get their leads by agreeing to share the leads you receive from one of your own marketing campaigns.
Leave literature in a public space
Nearly all shows have literature tables out front. At the top shows, these are strictly reserved for paid exhibitors and regularly policed to remove non-exhibitor materials. At most local shows, the rules are looser or are not enforced. At these, consider leaving a few copies of your brochure on the table, and return a few times a day to make sure your pile is neat and visible.
Always be prepared to sell
Whether in the back of a seminar room, in a corner of the hall or at a table in the food concession area, you are constantly going to meet people. At all times be prepared to pull out your card, samples, brochures, your flip presentation -- whatever you need to turn a chance meeting into a selling opportunity.
Consider implementing these tips if you operate a business using mailing lists, consumer mailing lists, opportunity seeker mailing lists or MLM mailing lists to target Opportunity Seekers, Business Opportunity Seekers, MLM Opportunity Seekers and Home Based Business Opportunity Seekers and want to make more money than you are currently making.
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