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In this episode of the CPSA Sales Hacks show, we will talk about how events can be a fantastic lead generating and branding exercise. Discover strategies to maximise your time and build a long list of meetings ahead of and during trade shows. We’ll also explore how to prioritize your follow ups.
Our guest expert is Sales and Tech expert and VP at HRmarketer, Rhonda Taylor.
Listen to this episode of the CPSA Sales Hacks Podcast and discover:
* What does exhibiting at the major industry trade shows say about your brand?
* Should companies buy or rent attendee lists in order to fill their calendar with meetings ahead of a trade show?
* How can salespeople use LinkedIn and other social media platforms to generate interest and secure meetings ahead of a trade show?
* Is it worth it to go to evening networking parties or are the real deals on the show floor?
Want to hear more? Check out these bonus soundbites:
* Do trade shows offer a good opportunity to meet with, and upsell to, existing clients? If so, why?
* How can salespeople at trade shows spot the genuine prospects passing by their booth v tire kickers?
* How can salespeople at trade shows build a buzz around the event to drive folk to their booth? E.g. taking pics of booths and sharing on social?
Read the edited transcription:
Bill Banham: Rhonda Taylor, welcome to the Sales Hack Show.
Rhonda Taylor: Thank you Bill, glad to be here.
Bill Banham: Okay, let's jump straight into the topic we are talking about, generating meetings and building strong leads ahead of and during events. First question for you, Rhonda, what does exhibiting at a major industry trade show say about your brand?
Rhonda Taylor: It says a lot. Especially if you're not there. Being there on the floor says that you're in the industry to do business. It gives...It reinforces your branding that you are a player in the space.
Bill Banham: Perfect, thank you. Should companies buy or rent attendee lists in order to fill their calendar with meetings ahead of a trade show?
Rhonda Taylor: You know, it's really great if you can buy a list, it's unfortunate that the lists sometimes have a heavy price tag. If you can get a quality list, definitely, go ahead. You can do some of your own research and come up with lists of your own. Be careful. As you're prepping for shows, you're going to get phone calls saying, "I have a list and I can give it to you at a reduced price." Make sure that you validate that the content is proper because more people have been taken with bad lists than you can believe.
Bill Banham: Would you say that email campaigns are still the most effective way to get meetings en mass for trade shows? If it's done correctly.
Rhonda Taylor: I have to say, I tend to back away from email campaigns. I think that the personal letter, the personal reach, the touch, sending out an email, reaching out, joining social media channels saying, "Looking forward to the opportunity”, and putting some energy into it because it's the old saying, "If you pinned them two or three times they might meet with you." So if you send them an email, you send them an LinkedIn invite, you join their Twitter channel, join their Instagram, it's all again part of the sales process.
Bill Banham: Okay, now let's talk a bit about LinkedIn and social media. How can salespeople use LinkedIn such as Inmails through LinkedIn's Sales Navigator perhaps and other social media platforms to generate interest and secure meetings ahead of a trade show?
Rhonda Taylor: Well, the common one is obviously doing the letter out but also just reaching out to people who are already in your social media channels, saying, "I'm gonna be at the show, can you introduce me to your CEO or to your purchasing agent." You could turn around and just do a number of touches using LinkedIn but definitely the social media platforms will not only secure meeting times but also use it as generating, "Hey, we're gonna be there. We're looking forward. We're launching a new product." It's very important to share your messaging on social media before the show in a personal way and in a broad way.
Bill Banham: So, very often, certainly with the larger trade shows, it's more than just the trade show itself. There are often evening networking occasions or first thing in the morning you might have a breakfast briefing, something like that. Can you tell our listeners a bit about networking opportunities in and around the trade shows? For example, is it worth it to go to evening networking parties or are the real deals done on the show floor?
Rhonda Taylor: You know, the education occurs on the sales floor. You'll find out so and so's getting ready to put in a request to purchase or you'll find that so and so has got money for an expansion. As a good sales rep, you take all that information with you and then when you network at parties or at round tables and discussions, then you sort of zero in and get to know the person.
Part of a good salesperson is first of all, understand the client's needs and if they match your product. The other side is the relationship. In these after time parties, you get to know where they live, what their family is, the name of their dog and it's all part of the sales process.
Bill Banham: Something else which is part of the sales process and taught usually from day one, to most salespeople is that elevator pitch or that opening line. What are some of the best opening lines that you've heard when you've been walking around trade shows from sales people at a booth, which have drawn you in?
Rhonda Taylor: Salespeople have to always present the professional image. I think that they need to step back and be very open. Give an open probe. If you can sort of see what the name on the person's name tag is, if they're a VP or if they're a person in a decision making level, then ask the open probes. If they're turning around and asking questions that might be...That shows that they're an educated buyer, it just helps you make the introduction a lot more beneficial to both. The gimmick is that...Be authentic and be...Ask the open probe.
Bill Banham: Let's talk about incentives. Do incentives still work? Is it true that giveaways and competitions and prizes will pull in the right type of leads? Or can you spend a lot of money on these sorts of incentives and it doesn't lead anywhere?
Rhonda Taylor: Yes, you can spend a lot of money on incentives and not get the leads. I have seen that so many times. If you're gonna give something away, avoid the cheesiness. Have something that is authentic to your organization. It's in harmony with what your company does. I liked one show, I saw a wellness company, and they had a chair where you could sit and it sort of did the leg massage and the back massage. I thought, "Wow, that was such a great intro because people sat there, they got some TLC and it gave the person who was doing the company intro some time to have one on one in private. So, yeah, gimmicks work. But make sure that they're not cheesy.
Bill Banham: Okay. There we go. A big lesson from today. No cheese, ladies and gentlemen. Rhonda Taylor, thank you for being the guest on the Sales Hacks Show.
Rhonda Taylor: I'm glad to be here.
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