|Last month I went to a conference.
When I spend a day and a half at an event like that, I make sure I’m organised!
I check the exhibitors beforehand to see if there are any I’d like to speak to.
I keep a running list of people I speak to for follow-up.
And I always make a discreet note of who I am setting next to in each session in case they contact me afterwards. My memory is not always the best for names!
Now, since the conference I have been bombarded with calls and emails from the exhibitors. I don’t object to them calling and emailing. That’s what good follow-up is all about.
But what I do object to is their opening lines…
Emails that say…
It was good to meet you (when we never met).
Here’s the information you asked for (when I never asked for any).
And the best one… (I paraphrase):
We have had so many requests to attend our webinar on XXXX that we are afraid we might have missed some. We know you are not on the list to attend, so we wanted to make sure we had not missed yours.
Should you be telling your potential customers how disorganised you are?
Of course not!
And the calls that begin…
“I’m calling after we spoke at the conference.” (When I know we never did.)
“I’m calling as we never got a chance to meet at the conference.” (There might be a good reason for that!)
And the best one…
“I am calling for our 10 a.m. meeting we arranged at the conference.” I know I didn’t arrange any meetings at the conference!
So, if I am not objecting to the follow-up, what am I objecting to?
Firstly, it is the lies! If you are going to follow up, at least follow up with the truth!
“I don’t think we managed to meet at the conference, but I just wanted to call/email to make sure you have everything you need to fairly appraise our product/service.”
Secondly, I want to feel like I am special enough (as a potential customer) for you to speak to me personally, not send me the same half-baked generic email you sent to everyone on the list.
So what does this mean for you…?
If you exhibit at conferences make sure you follow up in an honest and professional way. I’d say no follow-up is better than a late or generic follow-up that contains lies!
If you don’t exhibit…
Does all your marketing material have the integrity it deserves?
Are you claiming to have written a book you didn’t write in order to gain credibility?
That you have fewer places left on your events than you really do, to invoke scarcity?
Increasing your prices, only to discount them later so people feel that they have a deal?
If so, your customers and prospects will “feel” that as they speak with you.
Get rid of those practices. It might work in the short term but never in the long term.
You’ll feel a whole lot better for it!
As always, feel free to share your views in the comment section below…
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