6 Lead Retrieval Practices that Need to End Now

Outdated Lead Retrieval PracticesThere are many ways to record the sales leads at a trade show. Some are better than others. One is best.

A couple of examples came across my desk today. One was an email describing a lead retrieval method that utilizes dedicated hardware provided by a show’s registration contractor. I found several points in the attachment to the message interesting, such as:

  • “Qualifiers are ‘codes’ you attached (sp) to a captured lead that will help you determine the next steps in the sales process for that lead”. To my mind, a “code” is kind of clunky. A better option would be a customized qualifier, such as “High interest in our Deluxe Widget”.
  • Next, exhibitors are instructed to keep their lead scanners in a safe place each night. Why use a system that you store once leaving the show floor? Opportunities to interact with attendees and gather leads don’t end when the exhibit floor closes.
  • “Where does my staff pick up our ordered units? Will someone show my staff how to use the hardware?” This raises several points. As an exhibitor, why should I have to stand in line to receive (and later, return), a piece of hardware? And why must I learn how to use a piece of equipment when so much else is on my mind? Isn’t it likely that I will seldom, if ever, use that equipment again? Will I be responsible for instructing the rest of my staff on the use of this equipment?
  • Question: “What happens if my staff forgets to return their items after the show?” Answer: If your staff forget to return their scanner or printers within 1 hour of the event closing, your credit card will be charged $600 for each unit that is overdue. If they have not been returned within 5 days of the event, an additional replacement cost of $3000 per unit will be billed on top of any outstanding fees.” Ouch!
  • Another example: Someone sent an email advising that exhibitors will be spared renting scanners because a complete attendee list will be provided to everyone. That’s thoughtful, but it leaves gaps. Most exhibitors want to focus on the show attendees that visited them on the show floor or whom they met at the various social functions and seminars that an event typically offers. An exhibitor will want to record qualifiers and notes that will help establish which leads require immediate follow up, which should be put in a lead nurturing program and so on. The demographic information that an event registrant provides can be very helpful in assessing a potential client’s needs. Leads that are recorded electronically can easily be responded to in kind. Electronic lead retrieval facilitates distribution of information within an exhibitor’s organization.
  • “Your leads will be emailed to the email address provided by 10am the day after the event. If you wish to take a digital copy of your leads with you before you leave the event, please order the additional USB Key option.” Seems kind of archaic, does’t it? Given today’s technology, one would expect leads to be available on demand and in real time – without paying an additional fee..

I mentioned that there is a best method of recording leads. The best method currently is an app on a smartphone or tablet. In my next post I’ll explain why I think this is so.

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