Trade Shows and Cold Calling – do they work together?
Some companies go to trade shows because they want to avoid cold calling. If you’re one of these, you may want to reconsider your strategy.
Business to business trade shows remain a major component of a company’s marketing budget. Trade shows are great ways to be seen by decision makers in your target market – potential customers with buying power for exhibitors at the show. But with so many booths to visit, how do you make sure these key leads make it to YOUR exhibit or demonstration? Just being at the show doesn’t guarantee that your company will maximize its investment of time and money.
That’s where the use of cold calling comes in. A calling firm can reach out to trade show participants and secure booth appointments with your sales team! It’s much easier for a cold calling firm to schedule trade show appointments than on-site or telephone appointments when decision makers are busy back at their office. So, setting trade shows appointments is a great way to use cold calling!
The bottom line of maximizing your investment in trade shows is to get the right decision makers to your booth. It’s easy to get lost in a big room with lots of attractive and expensive exhibits; that’s why it’s necessary to reach your prospects ahead of time. At VSA, we have a proven strategy to help our clients meet with decision makers during shows. Using a good list of potential or confirmed attendees, we call and schedule meeting times.
How can cold calling convince a decision maker to visit you when faced with so many choices and so little time? Incentives really work! We see it again and again! Clients have offered coffee mugs with free refills, product samples, clothing, pre-loaded gift cards (a big favorite)…..you name it, we’ve offered it……and yes, it works! It says our client appreciates their time and we recognize that they are making an effort to keep an appointment with them. Not all clients offer incentives, and while incentives certainly are a big plus, the process is the most important component in the strategy: Call and invite the prospect. Follow up for a firm commitment. Confirm their attendance. Remind them before the show. We help deliver the right people to your booth! This is a lot of calls and work, but the cost of this effort is nothing compared to the cost of hosting a booth at a show. And the benefit is so very worth the investment.
Our clients who have asked us to book appointments for their shows have reported the best shows ever, filling solid pipelines for future sales. Oh, and there’s a bonus to using this system! After the trade show, VSA makes follow up calls to those prospects after the show is over, to set 2nd appointments that will convert into sales. Don’t just pay for a booth at a trade show. You’ll do half the work but only gain half the benefit! A little extra time, money and planning will make the next trade show a huge success for future sales.