Sunday, July 31, 2011

And the Reason you are Here?

Wisdom from Pat McGraw:

I dunno, what do you wanna talk about?

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 10:54 AM PDT

Conversation By Search Engine People Blog

I hate pointless conversations. They’re a waste of time (short-term) and they fail to identify opportunities (long-term).

Walking around the exhibit hall at a recent conference, I was amazed at how exhibitors handle those events.

From 10×10 booths to the small cities that required a semi filled with displays. From two people sitting in a booth, talking to each other while ignoring everyone walking past, to 20 people offering trash and trinkets in exchange for the ability to scan my pass so that they could count me as a lead.

I stopped to talk with a few people, just to see what would happen. And what I found was that most had no clue how to talk to me.

About half went straight into product demo mode – never asking me if I had a need or budget or the authority to buy whatever it was they wanted to show me. And those demos were so damn long…and generic…and not relevant to me.

Then there were those folks that made small talk but never made the transition to my needs or their products. I was asked where I was from, who I worked with, what type of work I did for my employer, what speakers I had enjoyed, where I was staying…

And all of them wanted to scan my pass so they had me as a lead in their database.

That was about 90-days ago. Since then, I have gotten a few emails and letters. But most of the companies haven’t called or sent me a thing. Overall, the follow up has been abysmal. Nothing has been focused on my needs, wants, expectations or perceptions – it’s all the same commercial.

And when you factor in booth rental, display equipment, travel, manpower, collateral…the least expensive option probably cost about $10,000.

As a marketer, you should make sure that your sales and service staff have specific questions to ask because it will provide you with the insight you need to personalize messaging and develop more effective offers. What does the buyer think of your company and products? Who does the buyer currently purchase products from and why? What do they like and dislike about their current vendor? What problems do your products help the buyer solve? What is their buying process? What is this person’s role in the buying process – just because they are at the event doesn’t mean they have buying authority.

The list goes on and on…and that’s why, before leaving to exhibit at conferences or going out on a sales call or picking up the phone to call prospects, I think it’s critical to work with sales on what they will ask and how they will capture that information so your marketing team can analyze, segment and target more effectively.

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