It’s no small investment to send salespeople to trade shows: Airfare, hotels, meals, transportation, and swag are just a few expenses – in addition to a lot of time. All attendants expect to see a return on that investment: leads. Lots of warm leads.
And collecting a handful business cards doesn’t cut it.
We have trade show prospecting down to a science. Members of DiscoverOrg’s sales and marketing teams attend about 30 events per year. For walk events, we get 30-100 leads per walk event, of which half are “hot” (sales accepted) leads.
We’ve got the ultimate collection to get the most of your trade show – with step-by-step instructions, plus creative tips for everything from making yourself memorable to follow-up techniques guaranteed to get a reply.
Read through to see all the tradeshow resources, or download the whole package at once.
From our Director of Sales Development, Jake Shaffren, these ten steps will have you swimming in leads:
- Locate a list of sponsors and attendees
- Get a map of the event
- Host events around the trade show
- Set specific prospecting goals
- Take advantage of social time
- Track referrals
- Connect with prospects in the moment
- Take notes in between conversations
- Respect everyone’s space
- Follow up with prepared post-show sequences
[ON-DEMAND WEBINAR]: How to Maximize Your Trade Show ROI
Does your company spend thousands of dollars on trade shows? Do you step into the chaos, cross your fingers, and hope to end up in front of the right people pre-show, during the show, or post-show?
A little luck is necessary to live your best life, but it’s not the best way to achieve the ROI your boss is looking for.
As DisoverOrg’s VP of Sales, I lead our popular Trade Show ROI webinar. I’ve spent 12 years in demand generation and event marketing and know how to avoid the pitfalls (and live my best life).
Watch Steve’s webinar to learn:
- Outbound marketing strategies
- How to find and identify the decision makers within the companies
- How to efficiently follow-up with prospects after the show
Our Manager of Demand Generation, Nina Wooten, uses our own sales intelligence tool to prepare for DiscoverOrg’s attendance at about 30 events per year.
In this piece, Nina explains how to find a warm lead at an event – and then use a company’s organizational hierarchy to connect with decision makers higher up the food chain (read: with more budgetary discretion).
And if you don’t have that kind of information? Nina will show you how to find it.
Grab our new ebook: The Power of Marketing and Sales Intelligence – 7 Ways to Fuel Faster Growth
One critical piece of trade show prospecting is identifying the right people and qualifying them, before the show ever starts. This video, the second of our Account-Based Everything (ABE) series, walks you through Identifying Target Accounts and Contacts.
Starring Jenny Campbell, our Senior Director of Customer Marketing; Chris Hays, Marketing and Sales Operations; and Director of Sales Development, Jake Shaffren, this film steps through DiscoverOrg’s own process of identifying the right people at the right company.
Get all these great resources in one sharable place: Download the Trade Show Tool Kit.
The third video in our Account-Based Everything series, Executing an Account-Based Strategy walks through DiscoverOrg’s own process.
Key players from the sales and marketing teams share their strategy and key takeaways following a series of ABE plays for our HR dataset.
The series culminates in an event where the same prospecting techniques employed at a tradeshow.
- Step 1: Set specific and measurable goals. These might come in the form of gathering a certain number of badge scans, meetings set, or demos given.
- Step 2: Get on their schedule. Yes, before the show starts.
- Step 3: Go beyond the booth. This is the fun part: happy hours, lunches, coffee meetings, hosted VIP dinner events … get your prospects (and current clients) to mingle!
- Step 4: Highlight your technology. (Two words: PRODUCT. DEMO.)
Do use a qualifying question. Don’t spend time on product demos for every yahoo who walks by your booth. Do invest in a badge scanner. Don’t wait until after the event to review your lead list. Do shout your attendance to the rooftops on social media.
Don’t order a meatball sub on the first date. Just don’t.
- Cold calling is dead … isn’t it? (SPOILER ALERT: It’s alive and well.)
- Are 75% of people really closed off to sales presentations?
- The buying cycle
- Inbound is just going to cover the rent
- 5 surefire ways to boost your cold calling results
- Build your ideal customer profile
- Position yourself as a change agent
- Use sales intelligence data and tools
- Focus on direct engagement
- Build your strategy, be persistent, and execute
- …and of course, What’s next?
If you research prospects before you get to the trade show, you’ll come home with warm leads, rather than just random names.
To get the most out of your trade show investment of money and time, you have to have a plan: (1) Define an ideal customer profile, (2) Collect names, (3) Listen for details to warm the next conversation, (4) Append and clean your data, (5) Consult an org chart, (6) Follow-up properly, and (7) Get personal. Right?
Trade shows aren’t just a great way to generate warm leads. They’re a great way to participate in your community industry, test new sales skills, and even make new friends.
But to see the full return on investment for this venture, you’ll need a strong game plan with specific objectives.
And for that? Well, you’ll need great data.
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