Over the past 12+ months, I’ve had the fun, enriching opportunity to represent VersionOne at a variety of conferences and trade shows across this beautiful country.
These events serve several valuable purposes:
- extend the brand of VersionOne
- meet customers and prospects
- collect valuable feedback on our company’s products and services.
Our ‘conference teams’ have done their best to collect ‘qualified leads’ from these events.
Here are the two best tactics I’ve learned to collect interested prospects for your business at conference time.
- A Badge scan does not equal an opportunity: It’s become a standard operating procedure at most shows to embark on a ‘badge scan binge’. This is a process of collecting as many as leads as possible before the show’s conclusion. Not only does this practice aggravate the badge ‘scannee’, but it pollutes your lead database with contacts far away from even thinking about becoming your customers.
Note: I am not recommending that no badge scans ever take place. Try, however, to engage with the attendee before the scan and ask questions such as:
- What brought you to the show today?
- What have you learned so far?
- What’s surprised you about this show?
- Have you heard about our company before?
If you can try to keep a notebook at the ready to keep notes from some of these ‘pre-scan’ engagements, this will be extremely beneficial.
2. Don’t show the product until it’s time: It’s tempting to showcase all the stirring features and functions that your team has been building.
More importantly, you need to understand the prospect’s situation by asking the following questions:
- What is your role?
- What challenges face your business today? What’s the biggest pain that’s hindering your business from growing?
- Why did you stop by our booth?
- What are you hoping to learn by the end of the show?
Knowing the answers to these questions puts you in a much more informed position BEFORE you show the product.
Go ahead: show the product AFTER you have some general understanding about the prospect and you’ll both be more satisfied.
Until next time,