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You’ve attended an important industry event, like MJBizCon, and now, it’s time to follow up with all of those new B2B sales leads that you collected. First, you need a follow-up strategy. Fortunately, I’ve written all about that topic on the Cannabiz Media blog already. You can follow the link to learn about the four important parts of a conference follow-up strategy. Once you create your strategy, it’s time to put the plan into action – read on to learn how to do it.
When a conference as big as MJBizCon comes to an end, you’ll probably have a stack of business cards and lists filled with leads and notes. That’s great! Enter all of the information into your customer relationship management platform (like the CRM tool built into the Cannabiz Media License Database), so you can start executing your follow-up plan and track future communications.
Once your CRM is set up with all of your new lead data, it’s time to start connecting with people. There is a lot more to post-MJBizCon follow-up than making a single phone call or sending a single email message. Following are the three most important connection channels for B2B follow up after an event:
For every person you connected with during the event, categorize the leads based on how likely they are to buy from you in the near future. In other words, is each lead a cold, warm, or hot prospect?
Based on that information, the notes you took about each person when you met them, and details you can learn about each prospect through your own online research, create personalized email follow up messages with content that is actually useful to recipients rather than just promotional. You can learn more about what to say in your outreach messages in Step 2 below.
Look at your lead categorization. It’s likely there are many people you met at MJBizCon or another event who it makes sense to call directly by phone after the conference ends. However, there are also many leads who won’t be ready to receive a call from you. Again, consider how likely each lead is to being ready to buy your products and services. Where people are in the buyer journey has a big effect on whether or not it makes sense for you to invest time into calling.
With that said, unless you had a conversation with someone during the event that ended with a promise to follow up by phone, you may want to connect with leads by email and/or social media before you call them. This way, you’ll get back on their radar screen, and they may be more open to taking a call from you if they remember who you are.
One of the first things you should do – either during the event or as soon as you get back to the office after the event – is to connect with every lead on social media. LinkedIn is a top priority for B2B leads as are cannabis industry-specific social media platforms like Leafwire.
To connect through LinkedIn, you may need to invest in an account that gives you the ability to send InMail connection requests to people, but there is a way to get around using InMail. You can join a LinkedIn Group that a prospect is in. Once you’re a member of a LinkedIn Group, you can send direct connection requests to all other group members, including your prospect. Read the guide to use LinkedIn for sales prospecting in the cannabis industry for more tips.
With your CRM set up and your social media connections made, it’s time to start sending follow-up email messages. After meeting a sales prospect at an event, I recommend sending no more than five follow-up messages in an effort to connect one-to-one (e.g., set up a sales call, demo, trial, etc.).
If you send five messages and a recipient doesn’t respond, it’s then appropriate to move them to your email marketing list to receive ongoing nurturing messages. Through nurturing, your brand will stay top of mind, but you won’t annoy people with messages that are sales-oriented. To be more conservative, set a limit of three post-event follow-up messages, and then, move leads who haven’t requested a call to your email marketing nurturing list.
Your follow up messages after MJBizCon or another event shouldn’t be entirely promotional. The goal is to remind recipients who you are, make a personal connection, and offer something of value that shows recipients you’re a helpful and knowledgeable resource who understands their needs and pain points. Once you make that connection, then you can try to sell, but if you lead with a sales message, most people won’t respond positively.
Here is a list of five messages you can send after MJBizCon or other events to reconnect with B2B leads without being overly salesy:
The first message you send after an event should be 100% dedicated to reminding recipients how you met and who you are. Mention something you spoke to each person about to personalize the message content.
You shouldn’t send generic messages to a list of leads. Instead, you should reach out individually to make real connections. Tell them you’ll reach out again within the following week since you know you’re both busy catching up after the conference.
This is your first sales-oriented message where you’ll ask the recipient if they’d like to schedule a time to speak via phone. Mention a pain point or problem you talked to them about or that they may be experiencing – something you know you and your company can help them with.
If you haven’t gotten a response, then the third message you send should focus on adding value by providing a link to an educational, useful, helpful resource, such as an in-depth blog post on your website, a video on your site, an ebook from your company, or something similar. Tell the recipient you understand they’re too busy or not ready to connect by phone yet, so you’re sharing something that can help them in the meantime.
The fourth message is where you ask if the recipient reviewed the first resource you sent in message #3 and offer to answer any questions they have. You can also provide another resource that you think they’d be interested in. For warm and hot leads, you can use a relevant case study as the resource you include with this message. Just make sure it addresses the same needs or problems that your recipients are having.
This is the last one-to-one outreach message you’ll send after the event where you met each prospect, so go big. This message can be sales-oriented. In a final attempt to jumpstart a conversation or make a sale, offer recipients a special promotion that your company is only giving to people you met at MJBizCon (or the event you attended). Be sure to include an expiration date with the offer so people are motivated to contact you quickly!
Your first follow up message should be sent within two to three days after MJBizCon (or any other event you attend). However, consider the day of the week that you’re sending email messages. You don’t want to send on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday because these days typically get low open rates for B2B email marketing messages. For example, if two to three days after the event lands on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, wait until Monday or Tuesday to send your first message.
Your second message can go out three to five days after the first – again, being mindful not to send it on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Alternately, you can send the second message one week after the first. Either way, you should start sending on a weekly schedule no later than message #3. Try to send the weekly message on Tuesday or Wednesday to get the best engagement.
Keep in mind, MJBizCon 2022 will end just days before Thanksgiving. You definitely don’t want to send any of your follow up messages during the week of Thanksgiving when many people won’t be in the office. In this case, it makes sense to wait until the week after Thanksgiving to send follow-up messages.
Once you’re done sending your event follow-up messages (whether you decide to send three, four, or five messages), continue sending a weekly email marketing message to nurture those leads. Stick with the same day each week and if possible, the same time, to get the best results. To learn more, read the guide to promote your business with email marketing before, during, and after cannabis industry events.
The most important things to remember when following up with B2B leads after MJBizCon or another cannabis industry event is to personalize your outreach, avoid continually selling, and be persistent – one outreach attempt is not enough.
Use the channels, email messages, and outreach timing recommended in this article to ensure your follow up from this year’s MJBizCon – and any events you attend in the future – is as successful as possible.
Schedule a demo to see how you can use the CRM and email marketing tools in the Cannabiz Media License Database to follow up with your own leads and connect with cannabis and hemp license holder leads across the United States and international markets.