This is part four in our five-part series dedicated to the biggest mistakes people make when attending conferences – did you follow up?
We are going to look at letting your potential leads get away after you’ve been to the conference. Not following up is a significant error as it makes it much harder to get your lead to convert.
There aren’t direct statistics that show how many people fail to follow up, but one stat that might help re-enforce this mistake: It takes between 8 – 18 calls to contact a buyer and get in front of them. You’ve got one on your doorstep now!
Consequently, this blog will focus on what you need to do, why you need to do it, and what happens when you fail to follow up any conference leads.
What happens when you don’t follow up?
If you followed the previous suggestions about attending a conference, you spent a lot of time networking with like-minded people. As a result, it’s almost impossible to leave a conference without a few new business cards in your pocket and contact details to take advantage of.
In essence, the primary reason many people attend conferences is to generate leads through networking.
So, what happens when you fail to follow up?
When you leave it too late, your contacts may lose interest or completely forget about you. After all, if you’re not calling or emailing them within a few days, it shows them you don’t really value them. Plus, the longer you leave things, the more chance there is for other people to follow up and steal your lead from you.
Essentially, all the hard work you put into preparing for the conference goes up in smoke. You did the hard work and networked really well, but you’ve not followed through with the lead conversion.
So, your sales funnel dries up, and you’re back to square one with lead generation.
How are you going to convert your leads?
This brings us onto the main question; how do you follow up after a conference to convert your leads?
Firstly, you need to define your goals with each contact. What action do you want them to take, and what stage are they in your sales funnel? Lead, prospect or opportunity?
Some of your leads may be very blatant in what they want. All of your discussions with them were about specific business opportunities, which makes your goals simple; secure these business opportunities!
For others, it could be a case of ensuring that they enter your sales funnel and end up making a purchase.
Either way, you have to work on getting them from the point of just being a conference contact, all the way to completing your desired action.
Secondly, contact them quickly.
The later you leave things, the less chance there is of you converting a lead.
So, in the days after your conference, make sure you contact your leads.
The best way to do this is to email or better still, call them.
This establishes a point of contact between the two of you, and you can use it to send out information or arrange a meeting with them.
From here, they could respond or follow your information to your website, and in doing so become part of your lead conversion strategy there.
Regardless, you’ve made contact, and a relationship is born.
Address their needs.
Each lead should have specific needs, which you’ll think about when coming up with your goals for them. So, when you follow up, make sure you address their needs.
Mention any of the pain points
When you talked at the conference, they will have mentioned them. Now explain how your business can provide a solution. It helps to build their curiosity as to how you can help them with their problems.
If you follow up and talk about you the whole time, they have nothing to gain from speaking to you. They’ll ignore any messages as it doesn’t benefit them to have you as a contact.
Provide examples of your work
A key component of lead conversion is really grabbing your lead’s attention. You do this by addressing their needs, but you can completely turn their heads by offering examples of your work.
Think of this as evidence that you do a very good job. People respond well to examples and proof that a business has had success before.
Think about it logically, if you aim to get your leads to sign up for your service, then the best way to do this is by demonstrating how successful your service has been in the past.
Keep following up
Lastly, you need to ensure that you don’t leave things after the initial follow up. If you don’t get a response, you need to send another follow-up message to try and get their attention again.
Sometimes, people’s email filters automatically send messages to the spam folder, so they might not have seen it. In which case, try contacting them over the phone and speaking to them directly.
Even if they do respond, this normally means you have to respond again and keep up your communications with the lead. Don’t assume your work is done just by sending out a follow up email!
What happens when you remember to follow up?
When you remember to follow up, you will see a range of benefits.
- all the effort you put into the conference wasn’t a waste.
- you have a much greater opportunity to convert your leads.
- makes the lead feel valued
- sets you apart as not many do follow up
- puts the next action back into the leads court
Contact them when you’re fresh in their memory and there’ll be far greater chance of a response.
The ball is in your court after a conference; your actions determine the path they take, and the actions they go on to complete. As you can imagine, this results in improved lead conversion and potentially more sales.
The bottom line is that you can’t afford to let your leads get away after attending conferences. It’s a waste of all your effort, and you lose out on so many potential sales as well.
Pay attention to the advice in this guide if you want to avoid this mistake after your next business conference!
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out the previous three entries in this series – if you haven’t already. Also, stay tuned for our next blog to find out the last mistake people make when attending conferences.