Getting the highest ROI out of attending a trade show requires both a focus on existing clients and high-value prospects, as well as keeping your mind open for valuable but unplanned new relationships.
The trade show floor is a competitive space. Making an impact requires thoughtful pre-planning and informed post-event follow up. Without that, your trade show conversations will be less effective, and your follow-up opportunities will be weaker.
In order to maximize your visit, be sure to avoid these three common mistakes salespeople make at trade shows and industry events:
1. Not Researching the Companies Attending the Show and How They Fit With Your Solutions
If you don’t prepare a list of pre-qualified prospects that describes their business, identifies their needs, and pinpoints your strategy to address them, your time at a show will not be effective.
Pre-book your appointments to ensure you secure focused conversations with high-quality prospects. This will also give you the opportunity to take open-minded strolls along the trade show or convention floor during your unscheduled time.
2. Not Being Open to Unplanned Connections
Your trade show prospect list should include detailed company profiles with descriptions of key executives. But why limit your interactions to just these decision-makers?
A trade show is a unique opportunity to have all industry players under one roof. Your most enduring connections may come from a person or company you have no prior knowledge of.
Make an effort to learn about everyone you encounter. Don’t miss this less focused networking time. You never know where valuable new business relationships will come from.
3. Not Planning for Effective Follow-up
The long list of names and titles you will inevitably leave a trade show with is significantly less useful without the contextualizing information that gives your future follow-ups a personal touch.
Consider using an outsourced lead generation company to handle your pre- and post- show calling. This ensures the calls will be made and you may uncover some real opportunity.
The information you gather at the show will allow you to reorganize and reprioritize your prospect list. Some trade show interactions may disqualify leads, others will strengthen them and build relationships.
Get even more out of trade show attendance by maximizing your networking opportunities. 4 Tips That Will Improve Your Networking at Trade Shows and Industry Events
Trade shows can be dynamic lead-generating, lead-prioritizing, and lead-nurturing opportunities. Knowing as much as possible about the companies and decision-makers who will be in attendance and being open to unexpected connections will help you make the most of your investment.