Nail the Follow-up: Close More Sales, Part 2 of our Conversation with Scott MacGregorOctober 3, 2018
We’re thrilled to share Part 2 of our discussion with Scott Macgregor, founder and CEO of SomethingNew. Our conversation with Scott was live-streamed on September 19th as part of a new series we’re offering at MEET: Coffee and Conversation. Join us periodically as we chat live with experts and veterans in trade shows, events, and complementary industries to hear their wisdom on common challenges and simple solutions for success.
We chose Scott for the topic of trade show follow-up because of SomethingNew’s uniquely effective approach. Here are some of the questions we asked him.
What does effective post-event follow-up look like?
Effective follow up is about making sure that you’ve collected all the information you need so that you can activate immediately following the event. One strategy Scott uses for collecting data on the floor is shorthand.
“People are really focused on collecting lots of business cards at events, they’re meeting all these people and they think they’re going to remember these conversations afterward. However, when the event is over they really don’t know who anybody is and they don’t know what to do. Using shorthand, whether it’s “H” “W” “C” for hot, warm, cold, or “I” for influencer, something to clue you into who this person is and where you need to go with them—what’s the logical next step in your follow-up process. That’s really important.”
The next step Scott recommends is getting this information into your CRM or contact management software quickly. People walk away with fistfuls of business cards and say, “I’ll do that data entry tonight, or I’ll do it over the weekend,” and it never gets done. Having someone dedicated to entering data into Salesforce, etc. can be very helpful. Speed is a critical element to follow-up.
When do you schedule your follow-up meeting?
If possible, set up your follow-up meetings while you’re still at the event. In a world where everyone has their calendars on their phones, it’s possible to set that date for coffee on the spot. This is also a great way to tell if someone is truly interested, like a “trial close.” “Setting things up immediately is a game changer,” according to Scott. Over time, even those you had incredible conversations with can go cold if not followed up with immediately.
What are the rules of effective follow-up?
- Always have a clear next step. Scott is Sandler trained, which for him means that he never leaves an engagement without a clear next step. This includes letting prospects know that “No” is ok. “Especially if you have built rapport with someone, don’t get strung along,” he recommends. Either move someone into your sales pipeline or mutually agree that there is no future. Either way, your next step should be clear.
- Time kills all deals. People often give prospects a few days thinking they need time to get settled after a show. If you really believe in your product or service, don’t be the 10th person to contact your prospect—be the first. That may mean following up sooner than you think is appropriate, but you have to move quickly.
We recommend you check out the full interview for more of Scott’s thoughts on the importance of immediate follow-up, why phone calls are better than email, and how to scale your follow-up strategy using an employee playbook.
And don’t forget to tune in for our next live-stream interview on October 23rd when the topic will be: Walking the Trade Show Floor: How to Get Value When You Can’t Exhibit.
MEET (meetroi.com) helps B2B growth companies and pavilion hosts effectively leverage at trade shows and in-person events. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp-up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward. Contact Bill Kenney at MEET today for a free trade show participation assessment firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (860) 573-4821.