So you’ve planned your seminar, got all the sales staff geared up and decided that the MD will give the opening address before handing over to John from R&D to do the technical bit. You’ve sent out invitations to all your customers and prospects, telling them that this is a must-attend event. You’ve bought a new mailing list of companies you believe will be interested in your new product and sent invitations to them too. You’ve booked a venue with capacity for seventy people. Finally, you got the sales team sitting down at the phones for a couple of days to follow up the mailers and confirm numbers.
Now it’s the day before the event and you have a total of twenty attendees, and you know from experience that at least a quarter of these will drop out. Fifty five empty seats! Disaster! Career ending! Embarrassing! You think “What have I done?”
Well, let’s just think for a minute about what you actually have done.
You’ve expanded your database. You now have a validated database (It’s been checked by all those calls the sale people made) which can be used for your marketing activity for the next few years.
You’ve written to all your customers and prospects and told them that you are launching an important new product. They needed to know!
Your sales people have phoned all these companies and will have spoken with a good proportion of them. As your sales team is professional in their approach, they have filled up their diaries with appointments to see the people who weren’t able to come. They’ve also ruled out those who do not have a need for what you are offering, further cleansing the database, and have set future call-back dates for those who are not ready for that. One or two salespeople have even turned up enquiries for other products, simply by talking to customers – how radical is that!
Not bad really. In fact, pretty damn good!
Of course, you also rang the venue the day before and got the seminar changed to a smaller room – you wanted it small and informal anyway!
Once the event is over, your sales people will get back on the phone and contact the few who said they would come and didn’t “Don’t worry”, they can say “let’s set a date for us to meet so I can give you the essence of what was covered.” They can then call the others, tell them they missed a very interesting seminar and continue the selling process from there.
An event is a focal point. It’s a reason to contact people. It is not the end in itself. The aim is to sell your products or services, not to fill a room for a couple of hours. If you plan it with this in mind, and make sure your management and colleagues are aware that this is how it works, you can see that the event is just another step in a successful marketing/sales strategy. Ask yourself, would you rather look back in six months or so and say “We had a great event, shame the sales figures didn’t match up” or would it be better if you could talk about your glowing sales figures?
The old adage of the three most important things in sales being follow up, follow up and follow up is as true here as it in any other area of sales activity. And with that in mind, don’t forget to follow up the ones who actually did attend too!
Find out more about how Lingo can support your event contact us