Surprising Cost of Poor Lead Follow-Up

April 28, 2013

“80 percent of success is showing up.”

I recently attended a breakfast meeting. I sat at a table with a group of friends, “friends” as defined by Will Rogers: “A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met yet”.

Richard, my new friend to my immediate right, asked what I did for a living. When I described what “trade show lead retrieval” is, he nodded, then offered an observation.

“Ah, the mystery device”, he said. “Mystery?”, I replied. “Yes, it’s a mystery to me. Information is collected, but the mystery is, where does it go? What happens to it?”

Was he putting me on, I wondered?

“Richard, the idea is that the exhibitor that scanned your bar-coded badge will follow up with you.”

“I figured as much.”

“Don’t they?”

“Not that I recall. They must spend a lot of money in order to exhibit. I’ve always wondered why they would if they have no plans to follow up their leads.”

The last 45 years has taught me that:

 

(a) leads are like gold

(b) leads that are not followed up are fools’ gold and

(c) most leads are not followed up

Quick story: Last month a company in which I am a partner received a $70,000 order from a customer. I have been doing business with this customer since the late ‘70s. The first order he gave us was by default – none of our competitors bothered to respond to him. Over the years, his purchases have exceeded $10 million. Why did we get this business, rather than our competitors? According to him, he contacted each of our competitors, as well. We followed up, they did not.

Remember, show up! Download: The Art of Tradeshow Sales Lead Follow-Up

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