Sharon says “I’m a firm believer that if you put your mind to anything you can do it including generating good quality leads by putting the business person you are talking to first – and not your objective of telling them your pitch and securing business. By putting yourself first you will not only annoy people but you are guaranteed that they will forget you – and fast!
- Preparation – you would never go to a business meeting unprepared – so why do people do it at a trade show or networking event? When you approach a stand or person, you won’t know their role in the business and so need to be prepared. Before going to an event, check out target businesses and develop your hook. Be prepared to answer – what value can you bring to their business?
- Listen – the majority of business executives are passionate about their businesses and love to talk. So let them by asking the right questions. By creating an informative business discussion about their industry, they’ll know you’re a person with knowledge and experience and may be intrigued about what you do.
- Don’t just give your rehearsed your speech/pitch – one of the biggest mistakes people make is giving an obviously rehearsed pitch about their business. First ascertain the needs and pain points of the person you’re talking with and then tailor your services and what you say to match.
- If your business doesn’t fit their needs don’t lose faith – as long as you have made a good impression by listening to their needs, then potentially this is a business contact you could have for life. So treasure it by following up…
- Follow up – one of the biggest mistakes following any business development meeting is that you meet some great people, tell them that you’ll email them or connect on LinkedIn and never do. Even if the person is not interested, send a short email to acknowledge that you appreciate them taking the time to talk to you coupled with your contact details (use a V card) – you never know when their situation might change.