Trade shows can reawaken sales with dormant clients

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Posted by , 27th August 2019

Trade shows can be used to reignite sales with the dormant clients within your database

Reawakening dormant clients is a proven route to revenue growth 

By David O’Beirne

Successful salespeople tend not to leave any stone unturned when it comes to hunting out new clients. 

They have the mindset that says “you never know what treasure could be uncovered. “

Soon after joining a very well known exhibition venue some years ago, I found some enquiries that were months old and had never been followed-up.

When I asked why this was, the reply received from new colleagues was they were obviously “not serious” enquiries.”

Anyway, within a few days, I signed a fairly sizeable deal with an ad agency who was among those leads. 

They and their client went on to become a regular advertiser with us for the next five years. 

To my new team, I looked like a sales hotshot who was quickly achieving significant results. 

In reality, anyone who could be bothered to go through those “not serious” enquiries could have achieved the same outcome. 

Which brings me to the subject of uncovering sales with dormant clients; companies who have been customers in the past but who haven’t bought from you recently.  

If you work in sales or marketing, there’s always a drive and a focus on winning new clients, but we often don’t know too much about the clients we already have.

Retaining existing clients and growing sales through and with them is often an underdeveloped part of a company’s marketing plan. 

Here are two examples of how that can hurt your sales

1. Your business is pigeon-holed. Many of your clients might only know you for one product or service.

They may not know that your range has evolved and developed. Your clients may be going elsewhere for services your business can provide.  

2. Your sales contact, the person who places the orders with you, may leave or be replaced. When that happens, there is a strong chance your sales from that client will end. 

It’s a genuine risk for many suppliers, especially small ones. You guard against this by building-up your contact list and your visibility within client companies. 

Our clients, like us, are very busy so they don’t always get below a surface conversation.

That means they don’t have a deeper understanding of what we do or can offer. 

With this in mind, how you can use your event programme to deepen their knowledge and the relationship?

You can show them your whole range, or new additions to it 

The same reason that you take in part in shows to attract new leads works just as well for dormant clients. 

Reawaken their interest and expand their knowledge by inviting them to see you at an event.

New additions to your product range especially if these are big items of kit can’t be transported to their office easily, but exhibiting overcomes that problem. 

On your stand, they will be able to see the newest and latest additions to your product range or try out your new software demonstration. 

Plus, they can meet with other influential members of your business, including your technical or support staff. 

They can meet with fellow clients and users 

Another thing your dormant clients can do is meet with other users of your product or service. 

It can be an excellent way of sharing information and best practice. 

It can also boost sales of ancillary products and additions to your range. 

Invite your past clients to on-stand briefings, workshops or networking meetings. 

Always highlight why their business will benefit from attendance. 

Provide past clients with excellent promotional items 

One other way to reawaken some of your dormant sales contacts is to give them a quality promotional item when they visit your stand. 

You might keep this as a pleasant surprise, given to your visitors as they arrive or leave your stand. 

Alternatively, you could offer a promotional gift as part of your invitation to visit you at the show. 

For this to mean something and to stand out to the client, it has to be a quality item.

If you type in “Upmarket promotional gifts” into a search engine, you will find products that meet the bill. 

Remember, these gifts aren’t for everyone who visits your stand. 

They are for people who have bought from your business previously.

With attention, they could become clients again. 

So, that’s the message for today. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to building sales. 

Using your events to re-connect with past clients is another way to extract the highest value from your event spend. 

In the ongoing search for increased sales revenue, don’t overlook clients who were happy to buy from you in the past.   

PS. You might find this allied article useful too.

Posted in Sales  /  Small business marketing  /  Trade show marketing  /  Trade show sales

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