So, you’ve amassed dozens of leads and contacts from that industry event. Maybe you marketed the heck out of your presence and it worked in your favor. Maybe it was a smaller show and you had a few really important conversations. Whatever the result, your post-conference follow-up needs to be on point.
A simple Google search will lead you to plenty of sources about how to organize your leads and what to do after a show. But we wanted to divulge some of Mojo’s tactics as we’ve honed them over the years to make the most of our time at industry events.
Follow-up starts at the show.
By that, we mean that your event follow-up will be more organized and streamlined if you know how you’re going to follow up before the event. For example, if you know that you’re going to want to follow up with leads from a cocktail party separately from ones from a panel discussion, you’ll prepare to keep those business cards distinct going into the two events.
Make as many notes as you can.
It’s difficult to take a moment to write down what this person said or what that person mentioned, but it’s crucial to do so if at all possible. Scribbling a few words on a business card makes a huge difference later on when you’re struggling to remember who was whom.
One of the most important things to remember when approaching post-show sales is organization. Whether you use CRM software, Excel spreadsheets, or a good ol’ Rolodex, prioritizing those business cards ideally happens your first day back in the office. There is one main reason for this: take advantage of what is fresh in your mind.
The value of the personal touch cannot be overstated. The day after the show, you can still recall what so-and-so looked like, and what you talked about over drinks. As the weeks wear on, conversations will blur together and trigger fewer memories. And, as everyone knows, the personal aspect of your follow-up email is the most important so the prospect knows he or she wasn’t just a drop in the ocean of leads.
Follow up with your hottest leads first and add that personal note.
Because you’ve prioritized all your leads, and you have them organized, you know which ones are more out of reach. But you also know that sales is about nurturing relationships, so develop a campaign for the luke-warm guys after you’ve followed up with your hottest leads.
It’s a good idea to include information tailored to these less-hot leads so your emails don’t necessarily hit the bottom of the inbox. Blogs you’ve done that relate to their interests or any white papers or case studies are great resources to keep you on their mind. And remember to not make your emails so sales-y. “I thought I’d pass along this info,” or “I remember you mentioned this issue” are ways to make your outreach relevant and personal.
Leverage the power of social
The traditional assumption is that you send email after email following a trade show. And yes, you should still send a bunch of emails. But social media can be more crucial in some circumstances.
- LinkedIn allows you to connect with every contact you made in a professional setting.
- Twitter is often a way to keep on top of what prospects are doing personally and professionally, and what their interests are.
- Facebook is also great for tagging folks in photos from the show — something that keeps you connected as well.
Face-to-face time with prospects at shows is one of the most valuable sales tools. But the long-distance connection afterward is just as important.