So you just came back from an exhibition…

So you just came back from an exhibition with a list of prospects (or at least, a list people who inadvertently wandered into the twilight zone around your stand). What happens to these names? I asked one marketing manager recently – admittedly not a statistically significant sample – who admitted that any genuinely hot prospects get called by the sales team (“but I leave that to them”); otherwise any names go on to the company’s general mailing list, “and that’s it really.”

This needn’t be a bad thing, if the mailing list is a properly sequenced exercise. But I suspect that at many companies, it just means that the prospects will get a bunch of newsletters and the occasional catalogue or random promotion, without any real thought. The first of these might not be scheduled for weeks.

What they should be getting, of course, is a series of promotions designed to bring them into the fold, from a “thanks for talking to us at the exhibition” email to some posted-out corporate material followed up by a “hope you liked it” email. Exactly what your follow-up sequence contains, is not as important as the fact that it exists, and has been thought through. At the end of the day, it’s not hard to ensure that everyone who visited you at an exhibition is even more familiar with you six months down the line.

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