In this article, learn the wrong way to follow up on trade show leads and explore examples of how you should be calling those prospects.

“What’s the best way to follow up on trade show leads?”

Most sales people mistakenly call trade show leads and start off with something like “How’d you like the event?” or “You stopped by our booth and expressed interest in our (ex: inventory control software).”

The first opener (“How’d you like the event?”) is an example of a salesperson trying to build rapport and often fails miserably at it. C-Level people don’t want to chitchat with someone they don’t know, especially after being away from the office all week (or weekend).

Now add that they will get 50 to 100 calls just like that in a matter of days from all of the other vendors inside sales teams and you can really see why they aren’t happy – or willing to talk.

The second common trade show lead opener (“You stopped by our booth and expressed interest in our inventory control software”) doesn’t fair that much better for the simple fact that trade shows have lots of vendors.

This type of opener is usually responded with “Which booth were you again?” and contrary to popular belief, that is NOT a good thing. Some sales people will make the argument that at least the prospect is “talking” but the problem is you’ve got them talking about the wrong stuff!

You are wasting precious time trying to get him or her to remember which booth you were, rather than getting them interested in discussing a problem that you could help them solve.

How to Successfully Follow-up on Trade Show Leads

The rule for successfully following up on trade show leads is the same for making cold calls as well as calling warm leads:

You have to verbally draw the WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM picture within the first few seconds of the call.


“Hi (PROSPECTS NAME) this is (YOUR NAME) with (YOUR COMPANY NAME). Thanks again for dropping by our booth at the (name of trade show). We’re the ones that help (name the type of industry your prospect is in) cut monthly overhead expenses by an average of 18% by eliminating excess inventory.” (Or whatever your USP is – USP = UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION)

This type of opener works no matter what industry you are in. It’s the formula construction that is key.

Here’s another example to help get your creative wheels turning:

“Hi (PROSPECTS NAME) this is (MICHAEL PEDONE) with (SALESBUZZ.COM). Thanks again for visiting our booth at the (name of trade show). We’re the ones that show (INSIDE SALES TEAMS) how to avoid being rejected by gatekeepers and leave voicemail message that get returned.”

Using smarter openers that hit the HOT BUTTONS of what you DO for your prospects will help your inside sales team get the most out of those trade show leads.

About the author

Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone, founder and CEO of, is a name well known to many…

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