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22 SMT007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2023 If they le due to disappointment, this may be your chance to re-establish a working relation- ship. Aer all, their stop at your booth indicates that there is a least some interest in re-engaging on their end. As with current customers, the most important part of the follow-up is making sure they feel heard and that you understand their needs. Beyond that, if you can identify any past issues that may have impacted their deci- sion to stop working with you and directly address those with demonstrable solutions, this will help strengthen your relationship. Keep in mind that a prospect that is a past customer is a current customer of your competitor, so to win this business, you will need to be on your "A game." Already a prospect: If you have a visit at your booth by someone who is already in your sales process, you will likely advance them to the next step of the process—but this is not guaranteed. ey may have found some com- peting products at the show that gained their attention, or perhaps their needs have shied. Your follow-up should verify that their needs have not changed and that your products still meet that need. As we know, with any sales funnel, a prospect can fall out at any point. New prospect: If they are a new prospect, they—just like any other prospect—must feel like you have really listened to their needs, that you have solid solutions available, and that you have expert answers to their questions. In addi- tion, you need to make sure they understand who you are, what you stand for, and the value you bring to them. ey need to feel confident that you are the kind of company that they want to do business with. From the moment they stepped into your booth, they began to form an impression of you. If they went as far as giving you their contact info, they must feel comfortable exploring the next step. Regardless of the prospect's category, it's important for you to present yourself as a thor- ough and technical leader. is is where your post-show marketing voice is critical. Be sure to take part in highly visible trade show cover- age in trade journals. is can be in the form of press releases announcing activities from the show, interviews with your team, or ads pro- moting the technology your prospects have just seen at your booth. Ads with third party testimonials are especially powerful here. Ide- ally, you should do all the above. Social media is also an important tool in fol- low-up. One of the first questions to ask is if your prospect is already connected to you at some level. If they are, connect with them through that platform. Invite them to see your coverage in the trade journals, read a techni- cal blog, or download your whitepaper. If they are not connected, reach out and invite them to connect. Arranging a personal visit is arguably the strongest form of follow-up. It gives you a chance to spend focused time without the noise of the trade show in the prospect's own environment. It also is an indication that this prospect is very serious about moving to the next step in the process. Now that the trade show is over, it's time to put all the pieces together. It's good practice to have a detailed and documented follow-up plan. e plan should include all the above steps, as well as a specific timeline attached to each activity. Your timeline should be fast-moving with key metrics. Time is of the essence; if you are not As with current cus- tomers, the most impor- tant part of the follow-up is making sure they feel heard and that you understand their needs.

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