How Trade Shows Work

Following Up After Follow-Up

You need to make sure your sales reps are actually calling the contacts you've turned over to them. The top reasons sales reps give for not following up on leads are that the leads haven't been qualified, the information is not complete, or they just don't have the time because they're following up on leads they feel have more potential.

Sometimes, the electronic lead systems that trade shows rent to exhibitors don't collect phone numbers because the attendees do not want to provide them. Make sure you know exactly what information the system automatically collects, and pay the additional charges to customize as much as possible the information your booth staffers can add.
If you've provided your reps with phone numbers, then you have a better chance of getting somewhere. If you have a telemarketer in place to qualify the leads first, even better. Having a person dedicated (or at least responsible) for lead qualification is a luxury for many companies, and often is not an option. However, selling the idea for the position can be made easier if it is identified that it is also instrumental in the building of a client/prospect database. (In some companies, lead qualification is part of the client database manager's job.)

One solution is to have your booth staffers ultimately responsible for following up on their own leads, which makes sense from a consistency standpoint. Many show attendees will expect to get follow-up information from the same person they spoke with at the show. But, what if your sales organization is divided up into regional territories, and the show attendee fell into another rep's territory. These are all questions you have to wrestle with when coming up with your own system. The main thing is to get these contacts called. A personal phone call is typically the best way to get the response you want.