Tuesday, August 25, 2009

NYIGF Debrief: Managing Orders and Leads

I'm so glad the NYIGF is over. The show was not a huge success due to the economy, but I was able to attend a seminar on managing orders and leads and I thought it might be helpful to share my notes. I hope you find it useful.

Invoice Immediately and Correctly
This means sending out an invoice as soon as you ship the order and making sure that everything is totally correctly. You don't want to have to call with corrections. Also, include a packing slip with the order. I think the assumption here is that you would be shipping to a large company. I know for me many of my customers are small and I could probably include the invoice with the order, but the point is to do it all at once. I personally write my orders pretty sloppily and so I asked about sending out a digital confirmation and the panel agreed that would be a good thing to do. So I am getting on that today! They also recommended sending hand written thank you notes.

- Ask Questions
- Advise of Updates to Products and Orders
- Send Confirmations
- Make Courtesy Calls
- Blog (2x a week if you can)
- Send Eblasts
It is important to touch base with your customers as often as you can and to create a personal connections. All of these are essentially excuses to let them know you exist. It was nice to hear advice not to be shy about following up. I know for me this is very hard both to stay on top of and to have the confidence to do. Some ideas for questions to ask included calling to make sure their info is correct, asking about how they display the product, and of course, asking how the product is doing in the shop. You might want to suggest how to display it or offer to do an exchange on work that is not selling for them.

Create a Process
The panel emphasized this over and over again. It is not the process you use, but just implementing one and sticking with it.

Managing Leads
1. Collection
2. Review
3. Follow-up
4. Tracking
5. Follow-up again
Make a plan to follow up on leads for the next 90 days using the five steps above, and make sure to capture where you got the lead from. Personally, I just started an excel spread sheet with all my contact info in it. Now I need to figure out the follow up part.

Following up
- do it immediately
- via email, phone, mail
- think about including a special offer
- Include some kind of call to action.
- Send samples and literature.
They showed a postcard that used an image of the booth to remind the customer who they were. I think in the case of jewelry it is probably important to show the work itself as it is so small.

Following up again
- Offer specials
- introduce new products and catalogs
- send out trade show dates
- send any kind of news

OK, that's all I got. I now need to work on exactly what to say when following up. I would love to hear people's thoughts!

1 comment:

what said...

Great summary! I think this is useful for all designers whether they are just starting out or have a booth at the NYIGF