One way to eliminate time-consuming follow-up with prospects is to follow through immediately when you meet them. This becomes critically important at trade shows, where sales leads and even orders can easily get lost in a wave of business at a company's booth. Peavey Electronics, in Meridian, Miss., makes sure its sales representatives can keep up with the many dealers who visit its booth at the National Association of Music Merchants' mammoth annual trade show in Anaheim, Calif. The guitar and audio electronics manufacturer brings along one sales support staffer for every two sales reps to process orders on the spot. Because many dealers buy nearly half a year's worth of inventory at one show, it's imperative that Peavey be prepared to keep up with business during those critical four days. Jere Hess, the company's spokesperson, says that the cost of being overstaffed far outweighs the risk of being understaffed and losing orders in the expo frenzy.

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