How to optimize your participation in a Home Show
The Home Show Participation process example demonstrates how one might prepare for an upcoming home show – what to do during the event, and most importantly, what to do after the show is over. The Post Show is often the most neglected part of this process. After the show is over, everyone is tired and worn out. Then the new week starts with the usual challenges, and dedicating a lot of time to the follow-up may be put on the back burner. Yet the follow-up with your new leads is exactly why you participated in the first place.
Make a record of your process, i.e., write it down
Once you have this process recorded and distribute the steps to your staff, the whole process becomes a lot easier. Everyone will know what is expected of them, and when they should carry out their duties. Refining this year after year will perfect it and produce a better ROI each year. That’s what processes are all about!
In this article, I’ll show the major parts of the Home Show Participation process, and then I’ll go over the Post Show micro process in more detail.
The Home Show Participation Process Mindmap
These 11 points are the major (unexpanded) items that make up the Home Show Participation Process. Each one of these items is expanded into “micro” processes. When your mindmap, or outline, is complete, it will show exactly how to carry out each step in your home show participation, assuring you that you get the most of your investment, time after time.
The Post Show micro process
In this process example, I am going to expand the Post Show micro process. This micro process explains what should be done after the show is over.
This is an important step, mainly because leads sometimes get lost or misplaced during a show. Change the exchange timing to suit your situation, keeping in mind that the speed of your response will increase your chances of making the sale. If you respond within 24 hours and your competition responds in 5 days, you are way ahead of them, and you will be seen as a more organized and reliable company. Your response doesn’t need to be a phone call if you don’t have the resources to do that. Sending them a thank you email or letter will go a long way, and will remind them of your booth and staff, so that when they do get a call you have already established some familiarity.
Tracking your leads
This is the tedious part – entering data. But once you get this information into your system (CRM) you can reuse it in many different ways. The more information entered at this point, the less that has to be entered lately. Take the time to enter any details that are written on the lead sheet, and any details that you may remember from contact with the person, if you met with them.
The database you use may be one you have already developed or something as simple at Google Contacts in your Gmail account or an Apple Contacts address book. There are many CRM’s (Contact Relationship Management) available, such as 37 Signal’s Highrise, Swiftpage’s Act!, or Microsoft’s Outlook. All of them do a good job. Make sure that whatever you use will be able to export the data as a CSV format (comma delimited file for exporting to Outlook or another application such as an autoresponder) or a VCF format (for exporting to an Apple Address book or other applications).
Create a Group in your database for the leads from each day, e.g., Leads from show 2013-2-20, Leads from show 2013-2-21, etc.
Send Thank You Emails
An autoresponder is a good way to broadcast your message to a select list of people. It is also a good way to get your message into their Inbox, rather than their Spam box. Autoresponder lists are permission-based, meaning, you shouldn’t put a person’s email address on a list unless they have given you permission to do so.
As you collect leads at the booth, be sure that there is a check mark on each lead sheet that, when checked, gives you permission to send an email message to them. It might say, “Check this box if it is okay to send you an occasional email message.” If that is checked off then it is okay to export the contact into your autoresponder. There are many autoresponders you could use to send these messages, such as Aweber, Mail Chimp, Get Response, or iContact. Some of them, such as Aweber, are quite set against you entering a person’s name without the person first confirming that they will allow you to put them on your list (getting permission to send them emails), in a separate email. That’s called a double opt-in. Others, like iContact, don’t mind you doing it if you sign off that you have their permission to enter their name on the list. That’s called a single opt-in.
Most of these autoresponder services have import utilities, so that you can import all your contact information quickly into a new list. Once your list is complete, compose a thank you message telling them that you appreciate their visit to your booth and you’ll be in touch soon. Take your time composing this. Make each word count. Put your logo on the message. Keep the message short and to the point. Make sure that they know what to expect from you next, and include a link to your website.
Follow Up Leads
This is where the rubber meets the road. Do this well and in a timely manner and you will get excellent results. Make sure that the designated salesperson is well trained and knows your product inside and out. If she or he is seen as an expert, that is, one who has the knowledge and experience to help them solve their problem, then she or he will win their trust. People buy from people they trust!
Make every effort to contact your leads as quickly as possible. Don’t rush the visit though. Follow a proven visitation process as described in the Scientific Remodeling System sessions, so that you accomplish your objectives in a timely manner.
A process can always be improved. Take advantage of every participant’s feedback about the show. Discuss ways that the process could be more efficient and more productive. Don’t wait a week to do this. Hold this meeting within a few days of the end of the event while everyone’s memories are fresh.
Take notes at the debriefing meeting and then make modifications to the process. You can rest assured that next year will be even easier to set up, take down, and the results will be beneficial to all.
I hope that you have learned something from this process example. Even more than that, I hope you are recording your processes now. Don’t attempt to do them all at once – just one at a time, and soon you will have a complete system manual for your company.
This article was written by Randall S. Soules, writer, remodeling coach, advisor, educator, and creator of the Scientific Remodeling System. The Scientific Remodeling System will show you easier ways to advance your business, raise your profits, and improve your life, through the use of superior remodeling processes. If you would like to learn more about this eCourse and all of the forms and contracts available to Premium Members, click here. You are free to reprint or copy this article to your blog, newsletter, staff, etc. as long as the article is shown in its entirety and has a live link to RemodelerBiz.ScientificRemodelingSystem.com.
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