Of course not always we manage from the inefficiency side of things. The first part of this article intends to show an extreme exaggeration of what a sales representative –not so sales oriented- would do.
Lots of companies take event participation very seriously from the sales stand point, they understand what preparedness means, and start working months before the event actually takes place. For these firms, events, expos and trade fairs are a means to capitalize opportunities, to close sales, and not a mere random activity to get a few new contacts.
Let us go through some of the homework these firms normally do:
Define Goals. The goals may be very diverse, from very specific: to close a deal with X company; to more general: qualify 20 leads in Y industry. They can also be figure oriented: get X€ in new business for a specific term, and so on.
Prospect. Sales is a process. The first face of that process is prospection. Who is attending, who is exhibiting, who will deliver lectures, key notes and workshops. The numerous interfaces of social networks make this job much easier than a few years ago. For example, in the case of Localization Word, there is even a networking portal for this specific purpose (see link below).
Prepare. A success factor of customer centric sales is to have messaging ready, reviewed and available. What is the message we intend to convey to each prospect.
Communicate/Qualify. The communication process starts long before the event. Will we start the sales cycle with the goal of closing on the date of the event? Will we plan to have only a formal meeting with our prospect during the event?
Meet face to face. The big chance. People buy from people, not from companies. Meeting up is the logical sequence of events where the prospect has at least curiosity on what we have to say. Curiosity escalates in interest, and if the prospect agrees to meet up with us, instead of going to the buffet, attend a conference or wander about in sunny Barcelona, then we most likely have made a good job.
Follow up. A follow up on that specific conversation, items not reviewed, questions unanswered or unasked, additional information, assessment procedures, pricing, ratios, percentages, and so forth.
Closing. A signature, an agreement, a contract. Job done. Goals accomplished.
This is a brief description of the way diverse successful sales executives perform. It is, however, the tip of the iceberg in the sense that a successful sales cycle is not really-follow-this-recipe and grow rich.
.Fine, we are on time, the event is two months away. Today there is somebody calling the prospect you and your company would be interested in, if you only new that they are attending, or the solutions they need, or the message you’d like to convey to match their needs…