In this age of digital marketing it can sometimes be hard to figure out where the real world fits in. In fact, events and exhibitions are some of the most important and robust marketing strategies, especially for B2B business models. One survey found that 84% of ‘C-suite’ executives thought exhibitions, conferences and trade shows were the most important channel to achieving their marketing goals.
The sales cycle is inevitably something that every sector understands slightly differently, but, there are certain aspects of it that remain fairly universal. There’s the cultivation of new leads, first contact, the presentation of your product, closing the sale and coming round again. So where exactly do exhibitions fit into this mould?
Fitting it in
The short answer: just about everywhere. The brilliance of conferences and trade shows, especially for B2B businesses, is that so many of your potential leads will be there. There’s a reason that people say, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” and these places allow you to maximise the latter.
While there, you can mingle with people in your target industries and be introduced. The value of face to face networking cannot be overstated. You never know when a chance encounter may turn into an opportunity. This makes these events excellent places to maximise your lead generation.
Just as important though are the other parts of the cycle. You’ve met the right people, but face to face meetings are also an excellent way to build trust and a rapport with a prospective client. Even the fact that you are there, at an industry show, will enhance your credibility in their eyes. Once you have built up these relationships, it will be much easier to close a sale later on.
Events can also be a great place to close sales or deals with prospective clients. Closing a deal face to face at an event can make a client feel more comfortable, and therefore more likely to close, than they perhaps would online.
Ultimately, there is nowhere in the sales cycle that events don’t fit. Given the right focus and motivation, you can make them work for you and ensure they become an effective part of your marketing strategy.