Monday, July 21, 2008

Classifying leads

I know I dwell on this, but let's talk about leads. Gathering leads is one of the primary reasons we are at shows--we are there to itneract with suspects, prospects and clients and maybe find a few new ones in the process. So, let's talk about one way to classify leads.

Whether you are collecting business cards or swiping mag-striped attendee badges, you need to pay attention to and classify (separate) your gathered leads. The most straight-forward way I've used over the years is to call them as you see them as they are collected. That is, instruct your staff to mark the lead sheets with one of these codes:

  1. Hot leads are those that need immediate attention (usually before or at the end of the day). They want to make a buying decision now. Mark them with an "A" or "1" or as "Hot".
  2. Medium or warm leads are those that need to be dealt with in the next few days. They probably want to learn more or see a sales rep. Mark them with a "B" or "2" or as "Warm".
  3. Cool or cold leads are the least of your worries. However, don't ignore them. Usually they are the people who stop by your booth and want literature or to just say hello. Mark them "C", "3" or "Cold" and add them to the data base for later action.
Take some action with your leads at the end of each day. Collect them and have someone in charge of the process take the action. Turn your leads into sales. There are whole books and seminars written about turning leads into sales. One of the first steps is collecting them at the show and putting them into your sales process.

Don't forget this is part of the ROI discussion. But we'll save that for another time.

Lesson learned: diligently collect and process your show leads. Don't leave them behind, lose them or forget about the.


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