EBACE tradeshow booth fabricated. Check. Marketing materials printed or optimized for the iPad. Check. Ad creative at the pub. Check. Sales meetings set up. Check. Email follow-up strategy in place.
Okay, you forgot one thing. Oh, you didn’t forget? You just never give thought to your follow up till after the event? Well, that’s one way to go certainly. But remember how tired you are post-show? How many things have managed to pile up on your desk while you were out?
Advance work now gives you a leg up later. Allowing you to wow business prospects with your impressive follow through. A bit of advice.
Your Follow Up Is Only As Good As Your List
Capture the business card of everyone you meet. Or at least the information on every business card. A gazillion mobile apps exist to help you manage the business-card data you collect. If you’re not exchanging ecards, but the print kind, data capture can happen at night back at your hotel, feet up and head down. Or once you get back to the office. The benefit of doing it while at EBACE, the data can be read and saved immediately to your smartphone. Add notes while they’re fresh in your mind and memory-jogging images. Share cards electronically with others on your team. Pull info into Salesforce or send back to the team in the office to get a jump on it for you.
Don’t Be that Annoying Spammer Guy (or Gal)
Email marketing laws vary widely throughout the EU and world. Some countries just require you provide an opt-out option. Others, like Germany, require you opt in. The most often heard advice: Spam and you’ll be fined. Don’t spam and you’ll be fine. Basically, if you know the person, if you’re providing relevant content and you got the email address in a forthright manner – you’re good.
Deliver Something of True Value
Email recipients give you one of the most precious gifts: their time. Give them something of value in return. Consider linking to a landing page that offers content they need – that’s not selling but giving. Maybe a tip sheet on the 10 things every pilot could do to increase passenger safety. Or link to the oh-so-interesting aviation-trends article you referenced in your meeting. Your email itself doesn’t need to be long or highly designed. Be helpful. Be brief. Be gone.
In addition to the usual, “I enjoyed our conversation,” or “I’m glad we met,” think about what could build the relationship and offer regular chances for engagement. Do you have a blog or newsletter the person might want to sign up for? A social media channel that provides items of interest and connects the person with others of like mind? Add a link to your personal LinkedIn page and also one for your company.
Ask for Feedback
Your email primarily serves as a reminder of your meeting – and an encouragement to continue the dialogue – albeit in the in-box. Ask contacts to share their thoughts about EBACE, industry issues, upcoming challenges – your services/product. And be ready to listen.