You’ve seen them at trade shows. They’re the exhibitors constantly in conversation with eager prospects without even a moment to relax. You know they’re doing something right, but can’t quite put your finger on it.
It can’t be luck because it’s always the same exhibitors.
I’ll let you in on the secret: they started working the floor long before they even packed for the show by setting up meetings well in advance. They know that the time they spend at the trade show is precious and meeting the right people can’t be left to chance.
Here’s how they do it:
Reach out to existing customers - As the saying goes, it’s cheaper to sell to existing customers than it is to sell to new ones. I can guarantee that your current customer base hasn’t been tapped out yet. This is your chance to upsell, keep them loyal or introduce new products.
Reach out to prospects you weren’t able to convert over email or phone - Great salespeople sell best when they’re doing it face to face. You can see when you’re losing their attention, see which aspects of your product catch their eye and, if you were blessed with above-average looks, turn on the charm.
Reach out to your target audience via LinkedIn - This is where the real magic happens. LinkedIn has incredibly powerful filtering and targeting functionality that can help you reach even the most niche audience. This is a fantastic way to reach a new audience that wouldn’t necessarily be on your radar. Another LinkedIn trick is to search for other exhibitors on LinkedIn and reach out to their followers.
The benefits of setting up trade show meetings in advance
If you’re relying on a cool, expensive stand to attract visitors or catching the attention of foot traffic, then you’re missing a massive opportunity.
Here are just a few of reasons setting up trade show meetings in advance is so powerful:
Return on investment - Exhibiting is expensive, so every time a salesperson has to spend time finding someone to sell to, you’re losing money.
Make the best use of your sales team - Salespeople are in their element when they’re face to face with a qualified prospect. Any time that they’re not doing that is a waste of their skills. Setting up trade show meetings in advance also gives you the opportunity to prepare for your conversation ahead of time and tailor it to each prospect.
Focus on qualified prospects - Relying on foot traffic means that you have no control over the quality of the leads that are walking by. Even salespeople with a skill for identifying which prospects to reach out to and which to let walk by can’t guarantee that they’ll have the choice.
Start with an existing connection - Setting up trade show meetings in advance allows you to establish a relationship with your prospects prior to the event. This gives you a head start at the event because you already know who they are and where their interests lie.
With 72% of exhibitors attending to get leads from new buyers and prospects and 65% there to see current clients, the competition is extremely fierce. Don’t show up unprepared.
Do what great exhibitors do and set up your meetings in advance.