Perfect your conference strategy to connect and follow up with leads
Attending a sales conference is a knockout way to boost your inspiration, fire up your team and open the door to phenomenal networking opportunities, all in just a few days. You may already be a master at reaching out to the right kinds of leads, taking cards, and asking people to sign up for an email list, but a sound strategy is more than just collecting names.
While it’s easy to get caught up in all the buzz, how you connect during the conference sets the stage for how to best follow up with leads in the days afterwards. Prepare your strategy in advance so you don’t get overwhelmed shaking hands and taking cards.
Your best bet is to plan a system specifically for conferences, so you can leave each one with better, more strategic ways to follow up with leads and convert them right away!
The art of standing out, outstandingly
As a sales leader, your conversational style is most likely warm and personable. It’s effective to ask questions and listen for the details in answers, especially with prospective customers and their business concerns.
Susan Brodahl, Vice President of Heffernan Insurance Brokers, notes this is her “tried and true best single tip” to follow up with leads after a conference. She says “I’ve been selling insurance to large companies for 18 years. We attend a great deal of networking events and conferences. I use short emails to follow up, mentioning something personal about the prospect.”
At a conference, you may have hundreds of these conversations, which poses a problem in remembering the details. Incorporating the personal elements and details in follow-up is a sure-fire strategy to keeping that valuable connection, but how do you do keep the details straight?
One of the best things about business cards you’ll collect is that you can write directly on them. After an introduction and a brief conversation, jot down a couple of notes about what you discussed and any interesting personal details. Put these notes directly into your CRM with all their relevant information, to carry that connection through to all of your future contact.
If you are staffing a booth and take a more “fish-bowl” approach, in which you may not even have a conversation, post a sign asking attendees to write a “fun fact” about themselves or their business on the back of their card before they toss it in. That way you can open your follow-up email with a comment on their notes and start a dialogue without appearing desperate for the sale.
With these pro-tips working for you at the conferences, you’ll need a way to automate your follow-up efforts. That’s our specialty. Schedule a free demo of our lead management software today and see how Blitz Lead Manager brings in more business.
Make relevant connections
The founder and CEO of Creatomic, Jon Westenberg has a personalized approach to follow up with leads, but keeps it focused with business expertise by sharing “a piece of relevant news, content or insight from a leader in that particular contact’s industry.” This is a powerful strategy to set you apart from the many form letters and pushy pitches that leads get in their inboxes following a conference.
Westenberg notes, “It demonstrates that I’ve paid enough attention to know what would be important or valuable to them and that I care enough about that person to try and offer them something useful instead of immediately pushing my services or products. That can make a real difference in the way a lead views you; you’ll be remembered as someone trying to help, rather than someone trying to sell.”
Give away your expertise
Stan Kimer, President of Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer, Inc. is a frequent speaker and gives workshops at meetings and conferences. He engages his audience by collecting business cards and using them for a drawing, giving away books related to his topics. This sets the stage to follow up with leads, which he describes: “1-2 days after the event, I send an individualized email to each attendee, asking them if they would like a copy of my presentation powerpoint, re-introducing myself and expertise, and mentioning that I will be adding them to my monthly e-newsletter list which now has over 2,300 subscribers. I also do the same things if I have a booth or table at a conference.”
Kimer calls this his “most successful sales tactic.” He says “So far, I have gotten over half my clients of people who have heard me speak at an event where I followed up in this manner.”
Sharing expertise shows strong leadership and addresses something the customer is interested in right out of the gate. They attended a conference to gain insight and inspiration, so you win by demonstrating value with a targeted drip campaign to follow up with leads immediately after a conference.
With these pro-tips working for you at the conferences, you’ll need a way to automate your follow-up efforts. That’s our specialty. Schedule a free demo of our lead management software today and see how Blitz Lead Manager brings in more business!
What have been your best strategies for following up with leads after a conference? Leave your tips in the comments.