I am a firm believer that if you put your mind to anything you can do it – and this includes 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!
There are many face-to-face methods to generate new business, from networking events, conferences, trade shows and through association events. If you are interested in developing your business, then some of these tips will help you:
- Preparation – like all good business meetings you would never enter a room unprepared before you speak to senior executives – so why do people do it at a trade show or networking event? When you approach a booth or person, you will not know the level of seniority of the individual and therefore you need to be prepared. Before going to a trade show, check out target businesses and develop your hook. You need to be able to answer the question – 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 will know that you are a person with knowledge and experience and may be intrigued about what you do.
- Do not rehearse your speech – one of the biggest mistakes that individuals make is a rehearsed speech about their business. You first need to ascertain the needs and pain points of the business executive you are talking with. Only until you reach this point can you tailor your services to match.
- If your business doesn’t fit their needs then don’t lose faith – if you are selling IT infrastructure and the business executive you are talking with has already fulfilled this need then don’t lose heart. 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 fulfilling the following tip.
- Follow up – one of the biggest crimes following any business development meeting is that you meet some great people, tell them that you will email them and never do. Even if the person is not interested, then a polite short email to acknowledge that you appreciate them taking the time to talk to you coupled with your contact details (I would suggest a V card) could benefit you in the long-term. Business situations change all the time and so a few months later, they may need your service, and at least they will have your contact details and will hopefully remind you for the right reason!
Overall, if you have passion for your business then this will shine through in every conversation you ever have and people will want to be a part of this – budgets and business objectives permitting. Good luck and have fun!
This week’s post is a guest post by Sharon Corrigan, B2B Marketing Public Relations Consultant.