Is there anything better than face-to-face interaction at a trade show? It’s true, I’m kind of a trade show junkie. I love hearing the background sound of hundreds of conversations happening all at once on the convention center floor.
It’s amazing how much can be discussed and accomplished when two people get together, in person, to discuss what they want. Those conversations lead to scanning attendee badges and fueling the sales funnel for months to come.
Treating individuals like people has a positive impact on the sale cycle. It builds friendship and trust. Wouldn’t you agree?
So then, why do organizations leave the show and turn those human interactions into just another data entry point in their lead system?
During show hours, your company has invested financial and human resources to help identify the needs of potential customers visiting the booth. Then after the show is over, they are just another “contact” that receives a generic company response?
That feels a bit cold… don’t you think?
Is it because you don’t have time to care about the people that took the time to show an interest in your company’s products and services? I don’t think that’s it.
I think the real answer why we suddenly treat people as leads when they are not physically standing next to us is because we’ve designed processes and systems to replace human interaction/touch points.
What if you brought the human interaction back to post-show follow-up? Do you think it would help you create better relationships with customers? Do you think it would help your company close more deals?
Think about your buying habits for major purchases. When you are car shopping, and you take the time to visit the dealership, does the sales person follow up with a generic letter and brochure? No — they call, they email and (if they are any good at sales) they talk about how this new car will meet all the needs you expressed during your face-to-face meeting. Their follow-up is specific to you because being generic doesn’t sell cars.
Try being different
If you’re up for trying something new, I challenge you to capture more details about the conversations you and your team are having at a show. And when the show closes, follow-up with a personalized letter and focused content that will provide real value to the customer, not just a piece full of marketing speak and beautiful photography.
Remember, doing the same actions over and over again leads to the same results. If you want different results, do something different.