How can you qualify leads at trade shows?

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Trade shows consume around 31% of a business’s marketing budget, so setting objectives and maximizing your return from such a great investment should be a top priority.

How can you make sure that you qualify the leads that visit your booth correctly and not waste a good opportunity with a hot lead? Qualifying hundreds of leads efficiently in a short span of time, before they forget about your brand and interaction with them, could be difficult if you do not follow the best practices when it comes to your lead capture form and qualifying questions.

What should your lead capture form look like?

Optimum form length

Your optimum lead capture form should neither be lengthy that it would bore the person you’re asking, nor too short that it wouldn’t give you any practical information. Keep it at a moderate length, containing the necessary questions that will give you insight on whether that’s a qualified lead or not.

Use a digital lead capture form.

Eventtus Leadbox is an example of an app that provides a digital lead capture form that facilitates the process of collecting and qualifying leads.

Aside from the fact that using digital forms rather than paper forms will give the impression that you are tech savvy, paper forms will take a lot more time and provide much less useful information.

Read also: Why Lead Retrieval is Essential in Trade Shows

Ask qualifying questions

Write 3-5 efficient questions that when asked to a potential lead, will give you details on what market segment they belong to, or what should be the level of sales and marketing follow up that you employ with them.

Examples of qualifying questions could be:

  • Before visiting our booth, how familiar were you with our company/products/services?
  • Do you have the time and resources to start implementation now?
  • What are the factors that could stop you from buying our product?
  • What other solutions are you considering?
Connect to your CRM

You do not want to manually transcribe all the contact information you gathered during the event to your system. You want to have it done automatically to save time and effort.

If you use a digital lead capture form, or a lead retrieval app, make sure you find one that connects to your CRM so that the data you collect during the trade show is immediately sent there as well.

How can you formulate your qualifying questions?

Beyond the basic questions

Remember that you are not gathering contacts, you are gathering qualifying information about these contacts. Go beyond the basic name-phone number-email, and ask about their job role, how urgent are they looking for a solution to the problem they have, how much are they willing to pay to get a solution. You want information that gives depth to the leads, so that you could prioritize who you will contact once the event is over.

Not everything, not at once

Do not ask all the BANT questions, not at once. You definitely want to know the Budget, Authority, Needs, Timeline (also known as BANT) of each lead, but no one is going to be willing to answer confidential information during the first encounter. That’s why you have to try to formulate your qualifying questions so that they’re not too direct, and ask the rest of the questions when you’re following up with them later.

Get tickable answers

Rather than asking lengthy questions that require long answers and a lot of typing, try to construct questions whose answers could be ticked off. In addition to saving both time and effort, this will also really facilitate the process of analyzing and comparing the answers that you collect.

Score & rank

Create a leads scoreboard. Give points to each lead you meet based on a scale you set with the values you think are essential for your organization. This will help you rank the qualified leads to know which are sales qualified, which are marketing qualified and which you shouldn’t contact at all.

Understand the value of trade shows

Tradeshows are a way to meet with current and potential customers, creating an environment that allows follow-up later on; so you can’t expect to turn all your leads into customers instantly during the trade show.

Utilize the opportunity to focus on more promising prospects, engaging them with your brand and understanding their needs. After the event, make sure you gather feedback and evaluate your performance, so that you could enhance and evolve your lead capture in the next trade show you exhibit in.

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