I had been referred by the owner of a company that I had worked with previously. I had helped that company become so well-known that they were able to sell the business for a lot more money than they would have prior to my working with them.
When talking to the president and part owner of this new company I quickly realized that what I was doing was not a marketing function at all. This company had just invented a pretty cool product and they had been selling it all over Europe and now they wanted to bring it over to the US. They brought me in because they were going to use one of our largest ‘horizontal’ shows to do the US launch.
The product had been used successfully and we experienced a couple of great initial successes, although they were smaller than what we were shooting for in the US. This was long before video was affordable and readily available.
I put the ‘pilot’ project into place by leveraging our initial success and initiating my process of interviewing clients, creating metrics, and developing the ‘why’ so someone would want to invest in this product. I studied the clients who were the most successful and as a result of doing these case studies I created the company’s ‘ideal client’ or ‘optimal prospect’ based on the great client(s).
Armed with my ideal client information, I plugged into the show information to find out who the prospects would be for this product. In a show that would include 15,000 companies and a total of about 29,000 people, I uncovered eleven that would be a perfect match. I don’t mean 11,000 or even 1,100. I mean ELEVEN. I shared my discovery with the company’s president, and after I picked him up off the ground, I explained my findings and plan.
I told him, “We will still market to everyone and our brand will still get in front of thousands of people (marketing). But we’re (owner & business development producer) going to target those eleven.” He was skeptical to say the least. I did further research and found out who was coming to the show. I reached out to all of them and did my best to set up a meeting, dinner, and engagement of any kind so they’d be motivated to meet us so we could to talk to them about this brand new product coming to the US. I stressed BRAND NEW. Of the eleven, I connected with and secured meetings with eight of them. Of the eight we met with, four of them were doing projects that this product would be a perfect fit. Of those four, we were successful in securing two of them as customers.
The sweet spot of that story is by the time we went back to that show two years later, those two projects were worth four million dollars. A 50,000 investment by the company I was working with gained them four million dollars’ worth of business! I hope you caught that. Four million dollars’ worth of business from a $50,000 investment.
We made many more connections and were extremely successful in reaching a lot more people at that second show. Because of our success at the prior show, our popularity soared because we were now a player in the industry and famous for what we were doing…and continue to do.
My point here is that you need to be ultra-specific about who you’re going after because finding the clogs in your funnel could be the very thing that unclogs your post-show effectiveness. Having a scarcity mentality of “we just can’t afford it” might be costing you millions in post-show revenue. Having an indifferent, “average is okay” attitude is not helping to establish your company as a major player in the industry. Unclogging your current poorly executed follow-up system of cannon-shell sized inefficiencies and getting crystal clear on your ideal customer will make you more efficient, and, more importantly, more profitable. By partnering with me to uber-focus on your optimal prospects, set appointments with those prospects, and prepare proposals, your efforts could harvest a lot more than $12,000 of quarters in a drain pipe.