A couple weeks back I brought you the article about the importance of making a good first impression. Simply put that first meeting often holds the key to finding out what a customer ‘s needs are and what it will take to convince them that you have the product they have been searching for. Ask any trade or conference show vet and I’m sure they will tell you it’s not the sales you make that weekend that matter the most, it’s all the contacts that are gathered which provide the true test as to whether or not the time spent standing at your booth was a success. So the question becomes once you’ve made that first impression how do you turn all those names and faces into dollars in the weeks and months to come?
First of all make sure your booth or kiosk is a two way street of information. Yes your most important task is to show who you are and how what you are offering is the life change thing that the everyone in the world would be crazy to live without, but while shaking all those hands make sure you come back with a phone number, an email address, or even a business card. Grab a spiral notebook on your way out the door and ask everyone the stops by your booth (even just for a few moments) to sign their name and how they prefer to be reached. Offer them a chance at possible future discounts by doing so.
Second don’t let the grass grow under your feet when comes to reaching out to those you met. A week or two after the show get that spiral notebook back out and let those that spent a moment filling out their information know how much you appreciated their time. If they act like they want to know more about your company great, but even if that call or email doesn’t generate a response don’t give up. Keep in touch with them on a regular basis. Not to say you need to call them weekly, but just enough so that when the time comes where they find themselves in the market for what you have to offer your name is still fresh in their minds. Send them cards during the holidays or special offers every month or so.
Making the first impression is something that can never be made twice, but keeping that same spark alive is a process that can be created over and over. By following up with potential customers you are doing exactly what the term implies; you are maintaining the relationship so that they remain potential customers.