IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show has finally come to a close! Six days, millions of tons of equipment, and over 85,000 people later, IMTS was, without a doubt, a huge success (and don’t forget to check out IMTS+!). Exhibitors I talked with reported that traffic in the booths was strong and the quality of leads was high. I know of several large machines that were sold on the floor of the show. But now that we’ve had a chance to catch our collective breath, we are probably staring down a long list of leads we need to follow up on. Today’s article – the last in our series – covers the importance of post-show follow-up and some tips on how to make that successful.
You’ve got all these leads, so what now? My first tip is don’t start selling right away. Unless you already had in-depth discussions about a sale or pricing, you don’t want to come on too strong. You want to be a resource to the lead, not another person trying to take their money. Instead, focus on getting those leads into your CRM and sales funnel. Make sure you have a foundation in place to serve those people when they eventually become customers. That will be more important to the long-term success of your business and essential to not only gaining a customer but to keeping them.
Even though you don’t want to start with a sales pitch right away, you do want to reach out and start introducing them to your brand and your experts, as well as answering questions they might have. In doing so you can begin to understand their interests, notate that in your CRM, and better serve them in the future.
Remember in a previous article we talked about the importance of training booth staff for the show and collecting information and leads? This is where that work pays off. If trained properly, you should not only have leads, but also notes and qualifiers about the lead that can help you follow up and target more effectively. That all adds a ton of value to your CRM and helps marketing and sales efforts down the line.
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Once you’ve laid the foundation and established the processes for funneling the leads through your company, you can spend more time on the email marketing, print mailers, and other forms of outreach. The key here for post-IMTS follow-up is to be specific:
“Thank you for visiting our booth!”
“It was great to meet you at IMTS.”
“Following up on our discussion at IMTS ...”
You get the gist. The important part is that you are letting your lead know this isn’t a cold introduction – you have already connected before and had a conversation. IMTS attendees made a lot of connections at the show, and the burden is upon exhibitors to help them remember what they saw and who they met. And do it quick! Leave a lead unanswered for too long and they won’t remember the interaction or conversation they had with you at the show.
After that you can start introducing the lead to content about your company, resources, and connect them with experts, etc. It’s all about being a resource to them and learning more about their interests through these interactions that build the relationship between them and your brand.
One point I want to reinforce is don’t forget the personal touch: your salespeople and manufacturing experts. They are not only some of your most knowledgeable people on technology and your product suite, but they also help humanize your brand and grow a stronger, more personal relationship with your audience. Having your salespeople follow up by phone or a quick visit will go a long way. Plus, a phone call or voicemail won’t end up in a spam folder like an email can.
In Closing …
And with that, our IMTS exhibitor marketing series comes to a close! This is also the last time I will plug the IMTS Exhibitor Passport product, although at this point, I don’t know what else I can do to convince you. It has every registration from the show, allows you to target your audience based on a dozen different qualifiers, and follow up by mail, phone, and email. It’s a proven way to maximize your IMTS investment and ensures that you have access to all the leads your business will need for the next year.
If you enjoyed this series or have feedback, please reach out! I love to hear from exhibitors and learn more about your business or specific challenges AMT can help you solve. The Show might be over, but we do a lot more to support the manufacturing technology industry every day. See you on the next show floor!
This is the sixth article in our series on exhibitor marketing for IMTS 2022. Be sure to check out the full list of articles here: