Q: How should MSP owners follow up with prospects after a trade show?
A: You’ve got to get people to the booth, number one. You got to have a plan for that. At Datto Con, recently, we gave away a really nice Yeti for anyone who came to the booth and booked an appointment. That drove quite a few people to the booth and we booked some appointments.
So before you even worry about the follow-up process you have to worry about two things:
- How do we get people to the booth?
- How do we convert visitors at the booth?
For your hot leads, when you get back, you can put them into a closer look or an aspirin campaign, both of which are offered in all of our memberships. So you could just take all the leads and put them through an aspirin campaign. That’s perfectly acceptable. And then the SDR, when they’re calling, can say, hey, it was so great to meet you at such and such event and we’re following up to see if you’d like to talk to us about being your IT firm. So that’s the way I would follow up with hot prospects.
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But again, you have to focus on what you are doing at the event. Your marketing should be happening at the event, meaning you want to make sure you maximize sales in your booth and then the follow-up.
What my sales reps will do is take a picture of their badge, or they’ll write their name down and then they know that’s the hot list to focus on once they get back from the event.
After the event you’ll have different types of prospects. Hot prospects that you had a 20-minute conversation with and booked an appointment and are getting on with them right away. Then all the way down to leads that only came by my booth because you were giving away some sort of gadget to be able to gather names.
Don’t leave out any prospects. Even the cold ones who just came by to take some of your free stuff because they are valuable in helping you build a prospect list.
So if you take an example of TMT, when someone goes to a Producers Club meeting, our sponsors know that everyone that’s in attendance there is anywhere between about $1 to $20 Million of an MSP. So it’s a good solid prospect for many of our sponsors.
Even if the sponsors don’t generate interest at the show, they’re still building the list from a marketing standpoint because they know it is the right shape size, decision maker, type of person, etc.
Don’t just do this at a normal trade show like a Chamber of Commerce event. There, you’re going to get the list of a bunch of people that are not a right fit for you because you got to sift and sort through all of them.
If the trade show or event you’re at is the right type of audience for your MSP, then your goal is building your list even from prospects that you didn’t have a ton of interaction with.
Keep in mind you are going to follow up differently with those prospects than with someone that is a hot lead that you had a conversation with at the booth. Again, the hot leads can go straight into your marketing campaigns whether it’s the aspirin or closer look campaigns. Then you can drop the colder leads into your prospect or e-mail system to be able to cultivate that lead.
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