9 Absolutely Easy ways to Convert Leads into Happy Clientele

Trade shows continue to be a channel that attracts serious buyers who are looking to gain ideas, insights and that special connection that only comes with face-to-face marketing. As a business owner (or the person who’s representing your company at these events) it’s critical you generate as many leads as you can to show the rest of your company the investment was worth it.

But leads aren’t enough; you’ve got to be able to turn a good number of those leads into paying (and hopefully repeat) customers. Whether it’s executing on-site sales or following up for after-show sales, here are 9 strategies you should be using to turn your trade show leads into paying customers.

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  1. Reach out to Attendees Before the Event

Most trade shows provide a show mailing list which you should use to send personalized communication pieces to attendees before the event. You may also use social media to personally invite attendees to your exhibit and get them excited. This pre-show communication should warm your leads by offering reasons why they would want to visit your booth and interact with your company.

  1. Engage in Real Conversations

Hard selling isn’t a conversation and is a good way to get people to walk right on by your booth. Initiate a genuine conversation by asking attendees about their business challenges and desired outcomes. Asking the right questions will not only qualify your leads, it will make them feel valued, and valued leads convert much more easily.

  1. Make Your Selling Points Emotional

Eventually that conversation will allow you to discuss how your offer can solve your prospect’s problems. At this point you want to be sure your selling points highlight the benefits of your offer; how will it change your prospect’s life? A great way to come up with these emotional selling points is to look to the feedback you’ve gotten from loyal customers in the past. Why do these happy customers of yours continue to buy from you? Why do they prefer your product or service over your competition? You don’t need 20 of these emotional selling points when five really strong ones will do the job.

  1. Connect Your Emotional Selling Points to the Right Persona

You will have different types of people approach you at the show from CEOs and CFOs, team leaders, buyers, administrators and even entry-level staff. Before the event, create profiles for these persona’s and connect the selling points you just came up with to the right one.

For instance, what may sell an administrator may not work with a CEO and vice-versa. While one may be more interested in how your product can help with productivity the other may wonder if it can help cut operational costs.

  1. Share Your Benefits and Persona’s with Booth Staff

Whoever is going to be manning your booth is going to be the face of your company. They may be charismatic and charming, but unless you share your emotional selling points and the personas they go with, your staff can’t get the job done. Make sure everyone is trained and well versed before the event.

  1. Get a Room

We don’t see a lot of companies do this which is too bad, because it can increase your on-site sales significantly. Think about it, these trade show events are noisy. By reserving a private room, one as close to the trade show floor/event as possible, you’ll have a quiet space to bring leads and answer all of their questions, talk about pricing, and even draw up contracts without any distractions. This will allow you to really give your full attention to the warmest leads and close the most on-site sales.

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  1. Have Your Elevator Pitch Ready to Go

Before you may even have a chance to ask an interested attendee some questions to get a conversation started, they may ask you a simple question, “What do you do?” You had better have an awesomely-succinct answer, also known as your elevator pitch, ready to go.

A strong elevator pitch will include a short description of what your product or service is and how it can help the individual or their business and will take no more than 30 seconds.

  1. Use Calls-to-Action to Drive Interaction

Calls-to-action aren’t just something you use on a website’s landing page; they can also be effectively leveraged at trade show events. Take every opportunity in your marketing messages to prompt attendees to complete a specific action at the event itself. For instance, display a QR code (quite easy to create) accompanied by your CTA on your event marketing collateral that gets them excited about speaking with one of your reps during a one-on-one consultation. All they have to do is scan the QR code to schedule an appointment (which will happen in that private room you were smart enough to reserve!).

  1. Follow-up After the Trade Show

Most likely a good number of sales will happen after the event has ended, which is why it’s important you follow-up the very next week. Remember, response time is the number one factor in conversion.

Here are some tips to help you maximize every lead:

  • Get on the phone immediately and be prepared to leave a concise and upbeat message that reminds them of your value and is tailored to that particular lead.
  • Invite all leads to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • Be creative and assertive without being annoying. You may find you have to call multiple times. Do whatever it takes to follow-up. If the phone isn’t working, use email instead. Just remember to always be relevant and refer to the conversation you had at the event.
  • Don’t give up if you haven’t been able to make contact within one week and don’t take it personally if your lead has gone AWOL. Oftentimes prospects are slow to respond because they are playing catch-up after these events. Just stay focused and committed to reaching them and starting the buying process once you do.

Trade shows remain one of the best ways to generate leads for your company, and while your main goal may be to close as many on-site sales as you can, the reality is it can often be difficult to close a deal with a prospect during your very first interaction with them.

And that’s fine, because you now know what steps to take to follow-up and nurture leads until they turn into paying customers!