Whether you are headed to a mixer, trade show or other industry event, you need to make your time count. Even if you are in the beginning stages of running your site or selling your wares, it is never too early to go out there and get the exposure you deserve.
Here is a short checklist of things to have on hand–
- Business cards – though some people knock the pre-scored business cards that you can make at home, they serve the same purpose. As long as you can use 3-4 lines to describe your brand or services offered and a way for people to reach you, then you have made a way for people to contact you
- Elevator pitch – if you can tell people with confidence who you are and what you business is about in 30 seconds or less, then you can easily open many doors. It may help to write it down or even record yourself saying this if you’re not much of a speaker or tend to get nervous when meeting new people.
- Promotional Materials to Distribute – if you were not able to rent a booth or table, then you can still make the most of the event, even if you cannot conduct outright sales. Make sure that what you have is functional, entertaining or informative. If your funds are low, you can create an informative newsletter that contains your contact information and URL. If you are a crafty person, look into your word processing or desktop publishing software for items such as bookmarks, postcards and other items with your logo and contact information.
Using the Right Communication
There are some common mistakes that new business owners tend to make when working these events. Especially if they have invested in a booth or table, they are more likely to deliver a hard sales pitch to anyone that should look in their direction.
While there is nothing wrong with a strong sales technique, it won’t be effective if the following should happen –
- The customer is looking or moving away. I’ve seen many people literally block someone just so that they can get their words across. If these actions are evident to another person, do you think that this approach in inviting? Maybe it means that the product or service is inferior and cannot sell itself so an aggressive sales pitch is necessary. Don’t let this happen to you!
- Find out what the customer is looking for before making a suggestion. Suggesting to customers outright what may work for them is not the best sales pitch. While you don’t want to spend too much time with small talk, use it to build up to finding out what their needs are.
- Walking up to a customer and forcing them to take something, without saying anything. If things look slow, this is where you will have to work the room and create a level of engagement before simply handing them a business card or promotional item. If they are in the middle of a conversation, wait until they are alone or ask if you can interrupt to give them a “special gift”.