By Allison Saget
Why bother doing an event if you don’t follow up on the leads you get! Seems logical. Even seems intuitive. So why is it that I often hear how companies come back from an event and don’t follow-up on the leads they get? There are no excuses. It must be done, and there’s no explanation needed for why it must be done. It’s a fundamental of event marketing: Follow up on the leads you get and recognize that your role as the event marketer is to ensure that the leads get processed so that you can achieve measurable post-event results.
Here’s the basics:
Your sales staff absolutely has to do the call-downs on every single lead, and those call-downs have to be done in a timely matter. I would say within 14 days from the event, and they have to be done by the territory representative who wishes to establish that relationship. They should be called first, then a personal e-mail or note should follow. Strangely enough, most of the events that I return from, I am contacted three to four weeks afterwards via mail but no phone call.
Take a proactive approach when you return from your event. Many companies use technology that will update their database in real-time while others may still do this manually. It doesn’t matter. Don’t get hung up in the “how,” just make sure it gets done!
Make a commitment to yourself to process the leads in your system either in real-time or maximum four business days.
Send your vice president of sales the downloaded leads immediately. Make sure that your plan to get the leads out the door and off to sales is fully engaged before planning gets too far.
Every time you return from an event, download the leads into your own files; what type of files varies from company to company. It can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or by using an online application.
Save lead capture information somewhere, because it will come back to haunt you when you either have to validate why your company is doing the event or for funding in the future.
Allison Saget is an event marketing consultant and the author of “The Event Marketing Handbook: Beyond Logistics & Planning.” Her website is http://www.eventblt.com. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.