While the pre-planning, logistics and travel—and perhaps a little too much socializing—can leave one feeling downright exhausted, I'm always invigorated after an event. There's nothing like meeting a client for the first time face-to-face, making new friends, and gaining fresh insight about my audience and their needs. The day-to-day realities of a full inbox, meetings and unfinished projects quickly creep back in, however, and it's easy to let some of the motivation wane.
But don't let it!
Here are some tips that will keep you motivated, protect your investment and reap the rewards of new business!
- Plan ahead.
Even before you leave for your conference or trade show, set goals for yourself for how you'll handle leads upon your return.
- Get down with your database.
Immediately upon your return, enter the contact information into your database while it's fresh in your mind. Add notes that will help you remember what you talked about and anything personal (you both love yoga and own a Sheepadoodle) you may have learned in your exchange.
- Schedule your follow-up tactics. (Hint: It's not just one!)
Your first follow-up action should happen as soon as possible. Sending a personalized e-mail the day after returning home will make you look like a rock star—or at least like someone who is genuinely interested in working with them. If you said you would follow up with a phone call, e-mail or package, be sure to keep your promises. Schedule your subsequent efforts like phone calls, e-mails, LinkedIn invites—even a handwritten note—which will set you apart. If you don't hear back from someone right away, don't give up! We know that, statistically, it takes multiple impressions before someone acts.
- Continue to Impress
Speaking of impressions ... When it comes to your leads and overall success with a certain market, get creative! If you're in sales, loop in your marketing people and vice versa. Is there another way you can reach the same audience with different tactics? We know that it now takes up to 12 impressions before someone takes the next step in engaging with you or your brand. Tactics like print and web ads can be budget-friendly ways to remind your leads that you're still here and relevant! Tactics like sponsored content and webinars help you look like the expert in your field, thus gaining trust and loyalty from your new and existing clients.
More often than not, success in sales is often a combination or positive personal interactions, creative marketing and dynamic customer service. With a thoughtful plan in place, hard work and dedication, and support from your team, you CAN turn your event mojo into results worthy of celebrating!
Written by Jill Carroll, Marketing & Media Consultant, with The National AfterSchool Association. "AfterSchool of Thought" is a blog series with tips and advice on marketing to the afterschool community.
Have questions or seeking assistance on how you can better promote your offerings to the afterschool market? Contact Jill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866.252.7108.