07-28-2011 12:32 PM
Hello beloved Jigsaw-ers... in response to a conversation we had with a client, we drafted this blog on how a trade show can go south in a hurry from a lead gen perspective. What's been your experiences with Trade Shows from a sales funnel standpoint? You ever get a heap of great contacts?
We have a B2B appointment setting client that spends about $160,000 a year attending CIO summits. It should be noted that this is the registration costs only, and does not factor the cost of:
We posed a simple question to the client: Why? The response was, “We have just always done it. We fear that our competitors might be there, so it would look bad if we weren't."
When we drilled down a little bit further with the client, we found that in the past five years, they've spent in excess of $800,000 on these events. We helped them come to the realization that the return is… drumroll please…
You heard that right. $0 return on nearly a $1,000,000 investment! It should be noted that by no means are we claiming that this is the norm; it is a result that a client shared with us candidly. We wouldn’t be surprised though to learn that other organizations have had a similar experience.
Compare to a complete B2B appointment generation campaign for the same customer:
We once had a client tell us they spend $50k a year on a particular trade show event. When prompted, the client said they wouldn't even pass the leads on to us to work because “there was nothing in there worth following up on." Quite a waste.
We challenge you to find out exactly where you are spending your marketing dollars. We encourage you to consider the ROI you might realize from a B2B appointment setting campaign.
07-28-2011 01:40 PM
I agree with this finding. I was in the home improvement industry for 10 years. A critical part of leads was Home & Garden shows. Even with reps working the booths to get quality leads, we could never justify the expense of show after show. We quit cold turkey one year and hired some appointment settters, put more money into mailings and sales grew by over 20%. Our fear was always that our competitors would be at the shows and we wouldn't. After that year, we just laughed our way to the bank while everyone else was still doing it the same old way and getting the same old results.
07-28-2011 04:03 PM
Hate to be the only contrarian today.
But a lot depends on how much work you put into the tradeshow before the tradeshow.
In some niche industries the Tradeshow is the EVENT of the year.
Are you booking booth appointments for the show? Demonstrating or introducing new products to build traffic? Is one of your execs giving a keynote address? Are you touring other booths during downtimes to scout the competition, make new alliances and forge new relationships?
The biggest mistake most companies make at tradeshows is just showing up. It's like just showing up to write a final exam in high school or university. If you don't put the prep work in beforehand, or don't attend classes, your chances of success are nil. Lead generation engines need to be tweeked first for optimal performance. I wonder how long a good auto mechanic would stay in business if at the first signs of poor performance his first suggestion would be to rip out the old engine and put in a new one? Ever heard of Warren Buffet? One of the smartest minds in business today. He still believes in tradeshows. In fact Berkshire Hathaway has a tradeshow each year as an integral part of their annual shareholders meeting. A lot of financial decisions, key alliances and personal relationships are forged at this event every year.
Next time for your deathmatch please have both combatants at least portrayed in the same weight class. Here from your descriptions you have an 80 year old, 80 pound weakling up against HULK HOGAN or Brock Lesnar. Not quite a fair fight. Even Charlie Sheen can see in advance who is going to be "WINNING!"
07-29-2011 09:37 AM
You are absolutely spot on in your analysis. Let's give SalesNMark some credit though. He/She stacked the odds so overwhelmingly in his/her favor, that you can't help but admire it. It was a brilliantly written marketing piece for SalesNMark's business. I remember reading some sales advice from Jeffrey Gitomer about the only way to really win RFP's is to get requirements in there that only your company can fulfill...talk about stacking the odds in your favor. So in that vein, SalesNMark looks like King Kong vs. Mighty Mouse, and that is a brilliant sales lesson in and of itself.
07-29-2011 12:10 PM
Couldn't have been said any better, Stingray. Some niche events are THE place to be if that's your industry.
I don't know who here attends some of the Sales & Marketing conferences or IT trade shows, but I've been to my fair share and in large part, lead generation consists of furious badge scanning and the occasional postcard form to fill out with the mini-golf-style pencil. That being said I have been to some Sales and Marketing events where I am actually there for the content and learning.
Considering both types of marketing program, in general, I think from a results perspective this Lead Gen Deathmatch goes to B2B Appointment Setting... I may be biased though
07-29-2011 01:22 PM
Tradeshows!!! This is like the big RFP discussion.
Playbig or stay home??? Become a sales Icon or stay home???
No Bid or Meet a CEO?
Anyone can sit in the office and cold call until thier fingers are frozen.