Whilst a room full of people has its advantages, not everyone there will be a customer for all of us. We need to find ways of engaging with the right people.
When was the last time you were pushed or manipulated into a purchase? Perhaps never. Perhaps on a rare occasion that won’t be repeated. So trying to outsmart your audience is not where it’s at.
Maybe there is no need to push. It’s about getting the balance between awareness raising and opportunity development.
Think about whether you are playing a numbers game or building a brand.
Know how to recognise collaboration
Not all businesses can collaborate with all others. Regardless of how trendy an idea it is, you have to be selective. You can’t collaborate with someone who does the same as you. At best this would result in never knowing who is responsible for what. The thing you can do is work with people who have complementary services for a similar market. So openness about what you do (and what you don’t do) is vital.
Take your time
Most of us don’t need 100 partners or customers from any event. So don’t do the ‘smash and grab’ approach. Meeting lots of people but not making a good impression on them is futile. Instead, invest time in speaking to people chosen as best you can, and be courteous regardless of the outcome.
Respect people’s time
If your only objective is to learn from the experience of others, fine. But be open about your motives. And don’t monopolise anyone’s time at the expense of them meeting others. Investing the necessary time is one thing, but cutting people off from the audience they are paying to access is another thing.
It’s not all about you
Humans love talking about themselves. But it needs to be made relevant to the context and the audience. What do you know about them and their needs?
Graeme Jordan is a Marketing Consultant and Managing Director of STO Consulting Ltd.