You picked the right trade show, you got people to your booth.  Great conversations and a pile of cards.  Your sales team is excited!  What next?

There are many facets to success at a trade show.  Elevator Pitch, pre-show marketing, booth setup, etc.  If you don’t have a good elevator pitch, here is a blog that can help you.   Nailing the 30 second Elevator Pitch.

Again, I ask…what next?   Think about this scenario, it is an important concept.

For the sake of this scenario, our fictional vendor is TabletCo.  They sell the hottest new Android Tablet for the educational market.

A prospect, Harry, walks up to your TabletCo booth.  He loves your product! Harry is excited about using the tablet at the school where he is a History teacher.  The school district is large. It is a good opportunity.  Some further questioning yields the fact the entire school district wants to have a tablet for each student.  Being a conscientious sales rep, you get Harry’s card.  You are all set for the follow up…or are you?

This is the disconnect point.  Not just in sales at a trade show, but sales in general.  Important questions:

  1. Is Harry the decision maker?  Can he say YES to a purchase?
  2. If is he the decision maker, is he the ONLY decision maker?
  3. What is the approval process for purchasing at Harry’s district?  Is Harry even aware of the process?
  4. Is the information on Harry’s card current?  He is a teacher, did you get a cell phone, direct line and email address?
  5. What happens if Harry moves to a different position in the next week?
  6. What happens if Harry gets laid off?
  7. What are the names, titles, emails phone numbers and backgrounds of other people that will participate in a decision?

Simple questions.  Do you normally have the answers after the show?  Why is it important?

Having multiple points of contact is the single greatest factor in getting a sales advance.

What is a sales advance?  It is not a sale.  A sales advance is forward movement in the sales process.

Having, and leveraging 3 points of contact “after show” will give you a 9X success factor over following up with a single contact.

Did you get 3 points of contact or a single card? How do can you turn a single point of contact into multiple points of entry?

Turn this:

Scan of Donato's Biz Card


Into this:







After spending $1000’s at a trade show, every lead is precious. Don’t waste them.  If you have the opportunity at the show, leverage each connection to get as many points of contact as you can.  Some good questions to ask:

Does your contact sign off on the purchase or does she simply recommend? Who are the parties involved in the decision process?  What are their titles? When was the last time your contact signed off on something?  What is the approval process?  Are they currently using another vendor? When does that contract end?

If you are having trouble getting those additional points of contact, a great resource is Broadook’s Profiler.

Bottom line.  If you are not prepared, your first outreach after a trade show can be your last. Spend the time to get as much out of your leads as possible.

Last thought:  Think hard.  People getting back from a trade show are bombarded with every vendor emailing and calling after the show.

How are you going to stand out?

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