How to build an efficient trade show lead capture form?
Trade shows have one thing in common: you will meet tons of potential customers and you won’t remember half of them after the event. Hence it is essential to record visitors’ details efficiently from day one. But what should you record exactly and how to save such data efficiently?
Let’s start with the basics
There are lots of things you could record about your visitors! Where they live, the name of their dog, their favorite ice-cream flavor… but these might not be essential to your business.
If you plan on doing follow ups and converting prospects into long-term customers, you should start with the basics. Each visitor you meet, regardless his relevance or importance, is a potential customer. Even if you find no immediate potential, you could convert him a few months down the road.
Each prospect is unique
Once you have nailed the basics, you need to differentiate all prospects . Having a “comments” section in your recording process is more than important, it is vital.
This section should contain detailed information about what has been discussed, what are the next steps & actions, what type of business the person is in, the level of interest he is showing, the country he represents, the product he has interest in as well as all minor details you could use later on to help build a relationship: name of his wife, last holidays destination, name of his hotel, etc. It might seem trivial at first, but re-using these minor details in a future conversation will recreate the connection you had during your first meeting.
You should also have the business card attached and enrich your report with relevant photos. A photo of the prospect himself, of his business card, of his products could help your reminiscence of the past conversations.
Use tags to categorize leads
If the expo was a success, chances are high that you will return to your office with a large number of leads. No matter how hard you try, you will never remember each of them.
This is even truer if you are not the only one collecting customer information: imagine you have a team of two sales and one extra promoter. What happens when your return to the office? You will have lots of contacts “someone” (it might be you or someone in your organization) will have to sort and follow up with.
Using tags is the first step to success. Ahead of the exhibition set up a list of tags to categorize visitors. As an example, you might create prospect quality tags (hot lead, warm lead, cold lead), product interest (product A, product B, product C), countries (coming from Europe, America, Asia, etc.) or buyer personas (buyer, marketing, supplier, investor, etc.)
If you enforce the usage of such tags, it will be a child’s play to categorize your leads and follow up afterward based on business potential and urgency. Find out more about how to efficiently use tags at trade shows.
From physical to digital
“All roads lead to Rome”. There is more than one way to achieve your goals.
The traditional trade show lead capture method is to prepare a stock of papers with pre-written forms that you will need to fill in order to record information efficiently.
The downside of this method is its lack of flexibility (you can’t take photos) and the extra workload it represents (you will have to copy each report in a digital format afterwards in order to keep track – assuming that all people taking notes on your booth don’t have a clear and readable handwriting, it might take days to record everything correctly).
A better approach would be digital: using a digital tool you could use from your laptop, tablet or even smartphone.
myfairtool offers such service and allows its users to record everything digitally, reducing human error and redundant work since all is already saved in your system. It also increases follow up speed as you will have all data waiting for you and ready to be used once you return to your office.
Choose the method that fits your business best but keep in mind that with all the efforts and money you have invested to be present at the exhibition, it is a must to end it with clear and categorized leads to follow up.