Hear that splashing sound? It’s the investment in money and effort that participants put into participating in Expos that flows swiftly down the nearest drain. It’s a tragedy I’d like to show you how to avoid when you’re participating in Expos.
The biggest threat to your Expo success:
You could meet some fantastic prospects for your product or service. You’ll ask questions and it will seem, you have a perfect fit, you’ll obtain contact details, you’ll follow them up and then you have to confront the strongest competitor of all.
This great big hairy monster of a competitor is the tendency, in these risk averse times, for buyers to fall back and determine that their best choice right now is to preserve the status quo and decide to make “no decision”.
“No decision” is a fearsome competitor and unless you have a means of beating it there’s a strong possibility that many sales leads gained at Expos will go no-where.
So here’s the best strategy for avoiding this outcome .
In recent times there’s been deep studies into what happens with people who seem ready to buy but don’t proceed, resulting in sales people giving up hope of ever converting them.
An article in an issue of the “Direct Marketing Magazine”, told of research into sales conversions that revealed the following:
- A ton of leads doesn’t guarantee sales – no doubt you’re well aware of that!
- Most enquirers don’t buy right away but they do buy eventually – if an effort is made to maintain contact with them.
- Longer-term leads, often abandoned by salespeople, represent 77% of potential sales.
- An in-depth study in the manufacturing industry of 40,000 inquiries generated by ads, press releases, Expo and internet enquiries found 6 months after inquiring, just 23% had bought the product or service, from the promoter or from a competitor.
- An additional 67% of people who were serious prospects at the enquiry stage indicated they were still interested or definitely intended to buy. Of these, 47% bought in a year or more from either the promoter or from a competitor.
What these figures tell you is that the delay in decision making requires B2B sales and marketing organisations to get a lot smarter in their quality of engagement with prospects. With lengthening decision making processes, far more nurturing is required.
In order to do this, an effective system of maintaining contact with your prospects after the Expo is essential. Failure to do this means you’re only likely to convert the “low hanging fruit” – those “hot to buy” right now and you will lose the 67% or more still intending to buy.
It’s important to remember that the Expo is likely to be the first step in the purchasing journey for most buyers.
The B2B buying decision process is a ‘cognitive journey’ – one in which your aim in beating the ‘No Decision’ is…
- to ensure your prospects recognise that your offering meets their needs,
- that your offering is in some way better than that offered by your prospects
- that you’re experts in your field
- that the pain of paying is outweighed by the gain of having it.
In doing this you have to stay the distance – maintain ‘presence of mind’, nurture their interest so that the concept isn’t forgotten and gradually drive the initial interest towards the purchase – making the purchase from you rather than your competitors.
Old sales saying
There’s an adage in creating sales that says the 6 key steps of achieving more sales is …
1) Follow up. 2) Follow up. 3) Follow up. 4) Follow up. 5) Follow up. 6) Follow up.
This of course is all very fine in theory, but how do you follow up without becoming a pest?
If you keep pummeling someone with sales offers, or asking if they’re ready to buy now, they’ll soon tire of you, and stop paying attention, no matter how great your offer.
The answer to this vexing question is to introduce a unique form of customer relationship newsletter into your company’s marketing mix…
A newsletter produced on a regular basis can be a remarkably useful tool. But not any old newsletter – because the wrong style can do you more harm than good.
Content is the key!
When newsletters are created correctly, with the right kind of content – having a mix of material interesting and useful to the target audience, rather than simply ‘tooting the company horn’, they can be brilliant.
This is because they can be the one form of marketing that your customers actually notice and welcome.
The right type of newsletter enables you to nurture the interest of your prospects with a steady, trickle of information about the product or service you’re offering.
- You can provide case studies, success stories, tips and advice, information on new product releases and sneak in features on the skills and experience of your team.
- The end result is that you maintain your presence – and you maintain their interest to keep you a step ahead of your competitors. You can do this with all your prospects and even your existing customers –not just with the people you meet at the particular Expo.
One further thing …there’s a clever way of using a printed newsletter at an Expo…
When you have spoken with someone interested in your product or service, show them your newsletter –
- Mention that it gives regular updates on new products/services
- Gives tips and advice
- Gives case studies on how other people are using it
- And then ask if they’d like to be put on the mailing list
It’s a simple strategy to obtain the names of people for future follow-up.
What’s more, it enables you to qualify them because if they’re genuinely interested they’ll be keen to receive your newsletter. If they’re not interested in receiving it – it’s a good indication that they’re not really prospects.
They’re not worth having – if they’re not good
If you’re thinking – “we’ve tried newsletters and they haven’t worked – or we receive newsletters from other companies and they’re rubbish, we never read them” – be assured we understand where you’re coming from.
This is where Media Support Services can support your investment in Expos.
As specialist copywriters of newsletters, brochures and company capability statements many companies employ us to add muscle to their marketing material. The difference in results can be quite staggering.
Just as two sales people can be quite different in their sales achievements, so promotional material can be equally as different – even though they may look much the same.
Just ask one of our clients, Tristar Water Solutions about how one of their newsletters we produced pulled in a $2 million order.
A team of specialists
We have a team of business writers who undertake these projects.
In fact we can do the whole project for you – from writing the articles, to designing an electronic or printed publication, to despatching it to your customers and prospective customers.
So that’s it… why not have one?
All you have to do is call me on 1300 557 660 and organise a time to make it happen. We’ll make the whole process very simple for you.
Please accept this invitation to call me on 1300 557 660 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to work out a time to meet. I’d be delighted to catch up with you to show you samples and give you costings for both printed and HTML newsletters.
Thanks so much for reading this. I do hope we have the opportunity to surprise you as to how effective this form of marketing can be for achieving more sales.