When you read the title of this post, Prospecting Strategy – Trade Shows Option 1, what came to mind?
Something like this?
And possibly the thought of… “I’m sure trade shows would give me lots of new people to talk to but I don’t have the marketing budget for the booth rental.”
I totally get that. An average size Trade Show, with a 10 x 10 booth space can easily be $350 rental or more and for larger trade show, it’s not unusual to pay $1000 or more.
Another possible thought… “It’s possible to talk with a 100 people or more in a day and get a LOT of leads if I offer a giveaway in exchange for the entries contact information.”
True. Following-up in a very, very timely matter following the trade show is imperative, though. I’d say this is where most drop the ball! A lot of new contacts in a very short amount of time can be overwhelming, for sure!
Now, don’t get me wrong, if done the right way, renting a booth at a Trade Show can be extremely lucrative. And we’ll talk about that in a future blog post.
I’m speaking to those whose budget is tight and the $350+ just isn’t an option and/or for those who aren’t quite confident (yet) in knowing how or having the time to make all those follow-up within 48 – 72 hours of the show!
How do you use Trade Shows to generate prospects without renting a space?
It’s really quite simple.
- a smile
- a great attitude
- to dress professional, yet casual
- and cash for the cost of the ticket to attend (some are free but most have a small entry fee for attendees – it keep the riff-raff out!)
Leave your business cards at home. Yes, you read that right. Leave your business cards at home!
As you walk around the show, stopping to visit the various booths, etc. you want to be looking for those hosting a booth that are smiling, engaging and easily approachable. I’d skip the ones that have their heads in their phones, iPad or a book, etc. Not the kind of person you want to partner with in your Network Marketing business! Wouldn’t you agree?
As you visit and meet new people, don’t take too much of their time, especially if their booth is busy. Remember, they paid to be there and you sure don’t want to keep them from what could be a paying customer!
Do talk long enough that it isn’t awkward to ask for their business card.
After you’ve made your rounds and are back in your car, make any notes about those who made an impression while it’s fresh on your mind. Then wait 48 hours and give them a call. I’ve found waiting 48 hours (or 2 business days) or no longer than 72 hours after the show is best. For instance, if the show is on a Saturday, you don’t want to call on Monday.
When you call:
- you simply want to ask permission (make sure they have a minute to talk),
- pay them a compliment (remember, you made some notes)
- then ask if they are open to other ways to make extra money, as long as it wouldn’t interfere with what they are currently doing
- if yes, make an appointment to meet for coffee (best), or send them a tool; link to an online video, a CD, magazine, etc. (whatever your company/top earners recommend)
And of course, don’t forget to follow-up!
I give this Prospecting Strategy a Cost Level of low, because it’s practically free and a Hustle Level of 5 on a scale of 1 – 10, meaning it falls in the middle as far as being ‘comfortable to do’ for the masses.
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