There’s been a lot of events and conferences going on around the world lately. One of the biggest topics that I’ve been hearing a lot of my friends talk about is whether or events are worth the return on investment. A typical booth space can cost you anywhere from a low 5,000 to 30,000 +. You might think to yourself, “how many deals do I have to close to make up for that?” Another problem that a lot of people talk about is that they do not get enough booth traffic for things to make sense.
There are a couple of ways I like to think of this. The short answer is that events are worthit. I’ve closed a lot of deals from events and conferences, and the truth is that those customers are the ones that are less likely to churn.
They are the ones that are more likely to jump to a bigger package from the beginning and if things are working out on your end, they will upgrade and become a valuable customer in the long term. In addition to that, those customers are our advocates. They love what we do at GrowthOK and even tell their friends about us.
I can’t express the importance of referrals, especially when you’re selling a B2B product or service. A way I like to think of it is that it is not about the lifetime value or the ACV of one individual customer, but it is about the value that this customer can provide for you in the long run. This customer can refer their buddies and if this customer switches companies, they’ll still be more than happy to use you.
So how do events help with this? Can’t you build a good relationship with anyone of your customers? Yes you can, but there is no quicker way to close a deal other than actually speaking with the ideal customer face to face.
Having an actual in-person meeting with them raises their trust level a lot more. Cold calls can be annoying, cold emails can be ignored, but in person meetings build a layer of trust that no other type of contact can build.
The mindset you should have at events, meetups, and conferences is that you are not “just there.” You aren’t trying to sell right away either, the whole goal is to build relationships, create memorable memories, and build tight relationships with at least one person that will buy your product.
Another thing is that if your product has a strong life time value, say an ACV of 20,000+ , then it’s a no brainer to be at events. All you need is one customer to make back the return on the booth. This doesn’t count all the relationship and brand awareness that you’ve created at the event.
You could also run into existing customers at events. Think about all those people that just signed on and just started using your service. Instead of having to email each one of them to see how they are doing, you can ask the up front what they think about your product and service.
What’s a better way to receive instant feedbacks? The whole conversation could take 5 minutes, whereas you might need to send multiple back and forth emails just to get some basic feedbacks. Again, any in-person relationship will result in a lower churn.
Remember that customer that you’ve been following up with non-stop to try and close on, but just can’t seem to do it? You can run into that same person at an event and explain to them in person the value you can provide for them. Again, this results in a higher chance of closing. These are considered 2nd or 3rd touch leads.
Another thing that people don’t tend to do after an event is to follow up with all the people that you spoke with. Doesn’t matter if you have to take out your phone and mark down their names on Evernote, just do something to get their contact information and include something personalized. Reach out to them afterwards and thank them for the time etc. You never know if they’ll be your customer in the long run.
You could also connect with influencers at events. This might not work for everyone, but try connecting with the speakers at the events right after they give their speech. This worked for me a few times. What you can do is tweet to them after the speech is over and tell them that you enjoyed their speech and would love to treat them to a drink to dig their brain some more. This works because most of the time the speakers check their phones right after they step down.
The only downside I see with events is when your lifetime value doesn’t make sense. If you aren’t selling anything or aren’t trying to build any partnership, then it wouldn’t make sense for you to waste 25k+ with travel cost to attend and event. The travel cost and resources to send your staff there might not be worthit depending on the deal size.
If you’re looking for highly qualified, accurate, and targeted sales leads with custom data points check out GrowthOK
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