February 2014

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Maximize your AHR Leads

Maximize the potential of your leads with a personalized touch

Manny Mandrusiak

Manny Mandrusiak
Managing Creative Consultant,
4 Bravo Marketing

Contributing Editor

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Another AHR Expo has come and gone and vendors will be heading home to their respective offices with lists of contacts and prospects that they met while attending the show. The problem with getting leads and contacts from a tradeshow is that every other vendor at the show potentially has the same contact. That means that if the AHR Expo had 500 exhibitors a perspective client could potentially receive 500 emails or newsletters from 500 vendors. That means that timing and content of your message has to be unique enough to separate it from the other vendor emails. Here are some tips and tricks that I have learned over the years for maximizing the leads that come out of any tradeshow.

5 Tips for maximizing AHR Leads

  1. Let marketing have them last – As a salesperson, who also does marketing, I know exactly what is going to happen to those contacts when marketing gets a hold of them. They are going right into a marketing database to receive the next newsletter, webcast evite, or product announcement. As a salesperson who worked hard for those contacts this is the absolute last thing that you want to have happen. Those contacts were purchased with the blood sweat and tears of a salesperson manning a booth and being on their feet for eight hours. Ensure that the first post-show contact comes from the person that they met at the show. If it ends up that there are a ton of contacts on the list that you did not meet then those can go to marketing for conversion to a warmer lead. I know that when I work a show I want every contact to receive a message from me directly so that I can grow a potential sales opportunity. I will always try to claim whatever opportunities I can before sending the list to marketing.
  1. Make it personal – I make constant notes when I am at a show to remind myself of small details about the people that I meet. It is always great to include some personal details in the email to illustrate that you remember the person receiving the email and that they made an impression on you. Nothing wins a client fast than a rep who remembers some details about the conversation that they had with you at the show.
  1. Go old school - I believe that anyone under 40 would call it going retro, but those of us over 40 call it sending a letter. Services like www.sendoutcards.com work extremely well for realtors and other professionals who have large client bases that they want to keep in personal contact with. This type of service would be highly effective for anyone who wants to continue to brand themselves and promote the services that they offer to tradeshow clients. People hate to be sold to, but they love to buy. Who do they buy from? They buy from people who make them feel good about the process. Having a service like www.sendoutcards.com send out cards that you customize yourself with all of your contact info for under a buck per card is a great investment to standout in someone’s mind is well worth the investment. Just imagine that investment paying dividends when you win a contract to retrofit a building with a mini-BMS system.
  1. Do not simply send product information – I have been to way too many tradeshows where I receive an HTML product information email thanking me for my interest in a product with no personalization in the email at all. I have even received these emails for products that I had no interest in, but I had stopped by the booth. No one likes to receive spam in their inbox, and if I am not even important enough to send a real email too then why should I deal with the company that sent it. People are very protective of what they receive in their inboxes these days. That needs to be respected, and that is why the personal email is always more appealing when following up with tradeshow leads than something generic.
  1. contemporary Never let anyone else cold call your leads – Nothing turns a potential customer off of a company quicker than getting cold called by some sales rep that was not even at the show. I recently went to an IT tradeshow in Vancouver and got a call from a company who designs virtual machines. I started to chat with the woman on the phone all the while making the assumption that it was the rep that I had met at the show, and it turns out that the person that I was talking to was actually a junior cold caller just trying to qualify me as a potential lead. Now this is standard practice by many companies, but the successful sales reps that I have worked with in the past do all their own calls. They took the time to brand themselves as sales professionals and from the moment that you meet them you received a feeling that your needs were the most important thing to them at that moment. That is the sign of a true sales professional, and ultimately that is how every sales rep wants their customers to perceive them. Why trust what could be a golden opportunity to a cold caller when you have already prequalified the lead at the show.

A little personalized touch goes a long way toward keeping your number closer to the top of the “who to call” list when a customer that you met at a tradeshow is considering replacing all of their current thermostats with smart thermostats or considering purchasing a BMS system upgrade. To be considered the “go-to person” is every sales rep’s dream. To get there remember to ensure that you remind your customers that you are a person who appreciates their time and business by offering a little personalized touch of your own in whatever correspondence you send them.


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