Trade shows, especially petroleum shows, are a great opportunity for your business to network and meet trade show attendees. Large shows often attract tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world who are looking for opportunities to grow their company. For your representatives working the show floor or the booth, efficiency is critical for maximizing the number of potential industrial sales leads they meet with.
The traditional standard is 5 minutes for each engagement. In that time, your booth staff must engage, qualify, and disengage. The main goal should be to meet as many prospects as possible and gather their contact information and qualify them as legitimate leads, not to convert a sale.
Waiting until after the show to convert booth visitors maximizes the number of visitors your booth team can meet and allows you to slowly nurture prospects who have longer sales cycles. How then is the best way to convert them after the show?
Marketing automation is one of the best strategies for energy companies to nurture prospects towards a sale. Software programs such as ActiveConversion generate targeted email marketing for customers who are interested in your products and services but are not ready to purchase yet. For example, a lead interested in instrumentation services would receive an email a week after the show thanking them for visiting the booth and provide a link to an online brochure or a white paper discussing the benefits of your services. Future email marketing campaigns would offer other resources such as webinars or case studies and eventually, would include a direct sales offer.
With the volume of emails that you are likely to be sending with this strategy, tracking who does and does not read the message can be tricky. Readily available third party programs such as VerticalResponse allow marketing automation programs to track and identify which leads read nurture emails and which recipients downloaded information.
Once leads are sales ready, a sales representative can directly contact them and close the sale. Involving sales only when the lead is ready to buy reduces the time wasted chasing leads still in the early stages of the sales cycle and improves efficiency.
Lastly, you may be wondering why not just close the sale with the qualified visitor on the trade show floor? Generally, trade shows convert 1-5% of the total number of visitors to a booth. If you attempted to close sales during the show, the total visitor number would be very low, and thus so would your conversion number. If you limit the time spent with each visitor and only acquire contact information and level of interest, you are able to meet more visitors and increase the total number of conversions. Converting visitors after the show using marketing automation or direct selling maximizes your booth traffic during the show and maximizes the potential revenue to be earned after the show.
About Ritu Singh
Ritu has over 10 years of experience in planning, facilitating and executing marketing programs. She is passionate about marketing and driven to help start-ups and small to large companies market products and services online and offline.