Do You Have A Good Follow Up Plan?
Why would you spend $30 000 on a booth at a trade show, collect all those email addresses and then do nothing with them?
A few weeks ago I went to the Home & Garden Show in Calgary. Then I visited the Lethbridge Home & Garden Show. They were both really good shows, and honestly I usually do not like trade shows and find them to be a waste of time, so if I was impressed it was really good. The attendance traffic was up. Venders seemed happy. Participants were engaged. It seemed that social media had been incorporated into the advertising plan. I thought it was really very well done. Huge kudos to the organizers!
When I go to a trade show, I sign up for everything. Some products I am genuinely interested in and some companies simply intrigue me. This time I actually do have two renovation projects pending so I was legitimately interested in many things. I have another motivation to put my name into every box though. I run an email marketing and social media company, so I am always interested to see what they do with the email address that I give them. I am fascinated with the follow up procedures of small and large companies.
My background is in sales. So I am very familiar with the numbers and the averages of numbers when it comes to sales. I know that it takes 7 Hits To Get The Sale and that after that initial contact a follow up needs to be done. I understand the cost that it takes to acquire a lead. Therefore I am completely disturbed by the lack of follow up when I see it. I can’t imagine why someone would put out all of that time and energy to put up a booth and then not use those email addresses to start building long lasting customer relationships. It boggles the mind…
After leaving my email address at over 200 booths for contests and sign ups of various services I have received less than 10 emails. Two of the emails that I did receive apologized to me for contacting me! That is just frightening…
I have asked vendors at trade shows if they are going to contact me via email and owners of companies fidget and look down and tell me sheepishly that they won’t bother me. What is up with that?
Are we in business or not?
Someone paid the price of a movie to get into that building. They came to your booth. They spoke with you and they seen your prize give-away. They filled out your card and they willingly gave their email address knowing that was the cost of entering the contest. They expect to be contacted. You paid for that lead. Why would you not contact them? Why would you have even an ounce of guilt over it?
I had another business owner last week tell me a very long story of many thousands of dollars that was spent travelling across the nation giving presentations for a unique product. When I asked him about follow up on those meetings he admitted that he had not followed up on one!
So today, I would like to share the importance of follow up. Your initial activity cost you money. You are flushing it down the toilet if you have no plan for follow up.
If you are a business owner, I get it, you are busy. Your time is worth money too. So get someone for $10/hour to do a few simple things for you.
1. Connect with every lead on LinkedIN.
2. Get a Constant Contact account and send out a nice letter with your picture on it, or a picture of your booth. Tell them how wonderful it was to see them and direct them to a product they can purchase or an activity they can do on your website, or offer them some good information that they would appreciate. Do something innovative in your email. Use a good story or a great photo of a child or a small fuzzy animal. Capture their interest and hold it.
3. Send them a hand written card to their actual address.
4. Make a phone call inviting them to a special event.
For the small business these tips could bring you thousands of dollars that you would simply miss out on by doing nothing. Separate yourself from the herd by having a good follow up plan.
For a medium to large business there is a whole lot more that you could do. If your competition is fierce and you need to differentiate yourself from the pack follow up is where you can shine.
We have developed strategic follow up packages that get it done and make you look brilliant. The only catch is…
Time is your enemy.
The faster you follow up the better. Within two weeks is best. Within 60 days is critical. Don’t let those leads get cold. Call us today for a plan, and remember that your competition likely has no plan at all. So something is better than nothing, but the best thing is to do it quick and to be amazing at it. Call us today so that we can make these leads Loyal2U. 403-818-6467
This article was written by Kerry George