Why Measuring Leads is Critical for Shows
Trade shows serve a myriad of purposes. From advertising new products to getting your company name out in the open through word of mouth, there are several different reasons one would choose to exhibit a booth at an event.
Wherever your reasoning is behind becoming an exhibitor at a trade show, it’s a safe bet that you want to produce many leads as a result.
What is a Lead?
A lead is a potential customer that you have gotten contact information from or someone who has given a purchase order already, indicating that they are interested in doing business with you.
The way that you decide to go about garnering a lead is where the bread is buttered. It costs a good amount of money and time to acquire customers at a trade show, so firing shots in the dark won’t help. You must figure out the most effective way to measure a lead; this is the critical turning point for success in your trade show approach.
First: How Do You Collect Leads?
You can’t measure something you don’t have! The first step in measuring how successful your tradeshow was in gathering leads is…gathering them!
Identify Your Leads
Test the waters and decide whether someone who shows up at your booth is interested in your product and not just a passerby. If they give a good impression, ask them if they would be intrigued by further product testing, free samples or prizes, or a business card and survey that will allow easy access for both parties to contact one another again down the road.
Focus on Customer Experience
Make the show about the lead instead of the company. If you just throw a bunch of jargon at someone, they will lose interest and move on quickly. You can garner customers of all different personality types and backgrounds if you dig into what their motivations are for attending your booth.
Calculate the Value of Your Leads
Next you need to determine how much money they will be adding to your bottom line in the next weeks, months, or years if they buy your products. Subtract this number from the total amount of money it costs to acquire them as a customer, and you get your total profit from the lead that you have measured.
This may seem like it takes more effort than it is worth, but that is only because trade shows have gotten the bad rap in and out of the industry as community events that are frivolous and fun, rather than engaging vehicles to sell and make money. Changing this mindset is the key to future successes.
Remember: You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure
If you don’t measure your leads properly at your trade show event, you run the risk of wasting tons of money throwing darts at walls without any scores hung up to hit on. Figure out the concrete ways you want to measure their worth, figure out how many folks you have gained as leads rather than just casual visitors, and create a total amount of profit accumulated through those leads.
Measuring your leads has the potential to encourage you to keep putting money and resources into funding future trade shows, which will in turn build upon themselves and fund more expansion in the company.
Getting down and dirty with the specifics of sales and marketing is the heart of gaining an authentic lead–and there is nothing more powerful in the trade show arsenal than that.
DJ Heckes, Author