Lead capture forms: the neglected weapon in an exhibitor’s arsenal 

 

Some companies get so caught up in the glitz of exhibitions that they forget why they came in the first place — to secure leads. Yes, eye-catching visual design is crucial, but it’s only groundwork to be laid so that the real business of obtaining leads can take place. As such, establishing an efficient system for capturing, noting down and later securing leads is the central task that stands before exhibitors. In the days of yore, this would simply have been a crumpled sheet of lined paper. Now, all manners of wonderful technological applications exist to make your life easier, and getting to grips with them is just as important as the lighting fixture you spent two hours deliberating over.

The apps:

As with most services, you get what you pay for. For a reasonable price, there are a variety of lead-capture apps available for exhibitors. The advantage of these over a free tool like, Google Forms, is that these do not require internet access to function — a life raft for those unfortunate businesses that end up in venues without strong Wi-Fi. Here are some of the top picks:

LeadR

For those seeking to collect basic data quickly, LeadR may be the perfect choice. There are also 4 customisable questions that users can add, but the appeal of LeadR is its speed and efficiency in obtaining simple information. Lagging screens and shaky connection is the bane of all salespeople, so eliminate the risk of inducing yawns in your customers with this speedy app. The app charges £29.99 per 100 leads you obtain and is available on the Apple Store.

Survtapp

An option for Android users, Survtapp charges a mere £7/month for quite an extensive lead-capturing toolkit. Users can create detailed, customisable surveys, tailored to the specific needs of their business.

OnSpot Social

Available on the Apple Store, OnSpot Social offers a range of features to entice potential customers. Users can offer a scratch and win contest (with random winner selector), automatic photo-sending direct to customer email, signature capture and the more traditional survey options. At $15/month, this tool may be useful for those that want to add a little extra honey to the lead-capturing pot.

A human touch

All these technological options are useful - and not to be overlooked - but there are some eternal rules to winning customers over, or at least not pushing them away unnecessarily. When asking for information, you’re trying to strike a balance between keen and unimposing. Not so unimposing that you leave it all to them - ‘Just jot your info down on that piece of paper over there’ is perhaps a little too hands-off - but not so eager that you startle the individual. This may be a subtle point, but saying, ‘May I ask for your contact information? Email address or phone number?’ could go down better than jumping in with ‘Could I ask for your email address?’ The latter seems a little pushy, while cushioning the question with ‘contact information’ establishes a more professional, polite tone. This may just be me — each exhibitor will have their own style of conversing.

The more info the better

I don’t mean noting down the colour pattern of the individual’s socks or the way he/she fidgets with their shirt button whilst talking. Note-taking should be succinct, but any and all details you can get down about the conversation you had and what the attendee was interested in specifically will prove useful when it comes time to follow up. Instead of calling up a faceless name and phone number, you’ll have some kind of picture of the individual that will help you reestablish a connection. A brief comment about something they mentioned at the exhibition will show that you were actually listening, not just fake-smiling your way into their wallet.

Lead capture forms may not be the sexiest aspect of exhibiting, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from them. In fact, this is all the more reason to use them properly — not every one of your competitors will take full advantage of them, meaning they can be an easy way to gain a leg up over the rest. You’re there to make a splash, but that splash means nothing if you can’t follow up with tangible results. Sharpen your lead-capturing system and upgrade your exhibition game for little added cost.

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