Trade shows are a great place to stay in touch.
Let’s say you sell a product that has a long sales cycle of several years. How do you keep on those company’s radar screens so that when they are ready to buy, they think of you?
Trade shows happen to be an excellent and low-stress way to stay in touch. Let’s say Prospect Company A is exhibiting at seven shows in the next year. If you can get to two of them and greet the principals you’ll be making face-to-face contact on average every six months. This gives you an inside track on other sales folks pitching them with a similar product. And the good thing about trade shows is that you have several dozen (if not a hundred or more) potential clients at the same show.
Company managers, CEO’s and movers and shakers will attend the bigger ‘expo’ type shows, so that’s a good place to introduce yourself. Come up with an objective for meeting them – even if it’s as simple as “Hey, I was attending the show because I wanted to meet some potential clients.”
Don’t try and pitch them at the show, but do try and ask a few questions to get a feel for their interest and needs for your particular product.
Follow up with a thank you card within a few days, clip an article of interest a month or two later and before you know it you’ll be on a first name basis with your prospect.
That’s how sales are made.