4 tips on how to turn international trade show leads into customers:

As a professional trade show attendee, you know that after the trade show is when the real catch up work starts. With dozens of business cards from trade show leads in your pockets, your boss expects you to turn them into buying customers. But what about this contact from Barcelona? Should you brush up on your Spanish first before you make this important follow-up call? Or the German sales representative from Volkswagen? Wouldn’t it be nice to send him the company brochure in German?

This article gives 4 tips on how to turn international trade show leads into customers and why language service providers are so important:

Trade show leads

Work on a multilingual follow-up email:

Latest figures reveal that 98% of exhibitors collect trade show leads, and at the same time, 80% of trade show leads are never followed up. Firstly, to turn your trade show visit into a success, it is important that you follow-up right away. Don’t let weeks pass and risk being forgotten by your leads. Secondly, personalise your emails and try to come up with some common ground. For example, you can mention which trade show you both attended, and also include your contact and company name in your email. At this point we recommend, that you go the extra mile and communicate in the native language of your email recipient. If you haven’t got the language skills yourself, a professional language provider can help you with the content for your email. They can also advise you on possible cultural differences to avoid any faux-pas.

Translate your website:

If you haven’t already done it, now is the time to work on your multilingual company website. Research has shown that only 27% of the Internet is English speaking, and if you translate your website into 11 languages you are able to access 84% of internet users.  A good starting point is to research which countries were represented at the recent trade show. Make a list of the top 3 languages and contact translation companies about website translations to get a better idea of timescales, quality and costs.

Translate your company/product information:

Actually, this tip is really easy to follow, because you can take the same approach for your print material which you use for your company websites. It is always a good selling point when you hand out a copy of your company or product information in the native language of your trade show lead. 72% of overseas customers would rather buy products with information in their own language.

Hire an interpreter for a follow-up meeting:

And last but not least, when you’re only a meeting away from turning your international trade show lead into a customer, hire an interpreter to break down the language barrier. Nowadays an increasing number of employees in bigger companies are bilingual or even multilingual, but do not automatically assume that everyone is a confident English speaker.

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by Linda Roper

Linda Roper is the online marketing executive at Wolfestone. She contributes to the blog on areas such as pay-per-click, email marketing and SEO. When she is not contributing exciting content, you’ll most likely find her optimising the company’s pay-per-click account, planning the next email marketing campaign or updating website content.