Trade show leads for one client who had previously exhibited at US shows had absolutely no traction whatsoever. He would collect plenty of business cards and leads from the shows only to have no one call him. He said, “so much enthusiasm on the show floor but I never heard from any of them again. Some just didn’t return my phone calls”.
Most Americans have never called Europe. Quite frankly unless you have family there, there is no reason to call. The +31 or 011 31 is all foreign to them, no pun intended. Being aware of the international dialing code isn’t required in everyday commerce. In fact, the US and Canada share the same country code which is 1. However, in our lexicon we refer to that as the requirement for dialing long distance not dialing the country code.
Back to the trade show leads problem, our solution was to systematically call each lead, qualify their interest, rank them by priority and in some cases take an initial order or two. Some customers immediately saw us as the point of access and would call us instinctively to place additional orders. Some customers just didn’t want to call the Netherlands to place an order. They preferred to personally place all orders with an American even over the objection of the client who preferred to personally take all orders.