Joe Greeley here, with Nimlok Minnesota.

Here’s what’s on my mind – Is it Working?

Several years ago we got a frantic call from a client of ours to please pull their crates out of storage ASAP, they need to get into it as soon as possible.  We looked at the schedule and said, “No problem, we can have them ready for you tomorrow morning.  If you don’t mind me asking, why don’t you let me know what you’re looking for, maybe we can help.”  Followed by a long pause, as I recall, followed by “I’d rather not say. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”

Well now this leaves a little to the imagination, doesn’t it? What on God’s green earth is in those crates? Hmmm…could it be gold bars in the cleaning supply bucket? Probably not.  How about compromising photos from the last Christmas party of the boss taped to the underside of the reception counter?  Huh – maybe…Or how about the body, the dead body, of the last sales manager?  Nope! Turns out it’s just the leads from the last show. And the last show was seven months ago. Are you serious?  Yep – gotta get ‘em in the CRM right away.  Really? Seven months ago?  How would you like to be the guy making that call, or on the other side, getting the call?  “Hey remember me at the latex show?  We talked in our booth?”  “And you are…?”

This is a true story, and a very, very, uncommon one.  I think it’s only happened this one time when it’s been that severe.  But it points to a bigger problem that we see.  Are you measuring it, and do you know that it’s even working?

Too often we hear the words ROI, and isn’t that great, return on investment.  I love it.  But I would say 90% of the time most of our clients say, “You know what, our sales cycle is too long, sales doesn’t talk to marketing, it’s really hard to measure, we gotta go because we go.”  And again, we’ve talked about this before.  I get it, but you have to put some metrics into place to at least understand if what you’re doing is even working.  Is it worth going, or should we be changing it?

Somebody once said, “What gets measured gets improved,” and I couldn’t agree more.  So let’s start with some basics – even behaviors – and see how do we get better at them, and how do we get better engagement, whatever it might be.  So let’s use some quick examples, some albeit very, very obvious.  Let’s start with leads.  Oh I know Joe, leads right? Yeah, but do you get qualified leads?  And what constitutes a qualified lead? Do you have metrics and criteria set up before you call it a qualified lead so you can determine how qualified it is?

How about existing clients? How many stop by to say hello?  Were they looking for something new?  How about types of engagement? Do you want digital engagement and how much?  Do you want hands on demo types of engagements?  Would you rather have more sit down meetings? And again, how did those go? How many did you have, and how do you foster more of it? What do we need to change each time?  But first you gotta start measuring.

Here’s another really, really, good one. How many sales appointments did you get for the next month?  Or next quarter? Whatever your sales cycle is, but start measuring. That’s really the key, isn’t it? Getting your people in front of them most of the time again.

And this last one I really, really like. Is your pre-show marketing working?  Is it helping? Are you doing something so that when they come to the booth you know it has to do with your pre-show marketing?

These are just some basic ideas. Again, we’ve talked about this before, and you’re spending a lot of time, money and effort going to these shows. Let’s start measuring.  Let’s start improving each time that we do it. If we don’t, all we are left with really at the end of the day are just opinions, right?  I think it went well, I’m not sure, I think so.  You know what, I filled the candy dish twelve times on Saturday. You know what?  That’s b.s.  That’s not a real measurable, now is it?

So let’s not measure the candy dish. Let’s not measure how many stress balls we gave away. And let’s not measure how many times they played the whack-a-mole game on the backside of our booth. Let’s do something behavioral-wise, something that matters, something we can improve upon.

Anyway, that’s what was on my mind – let us know how we can help.