You want to grow your business. Your company is improving marketing tactics and advertising, and you’ve registered for a convention or trade show to promote your product or service.
So what’s going to take you to the next level?
When it comes to marketing, networking is one of your greatest paths to success. But what makes for effective networking and how do you make a lasting impact?
Here are a few tips for networking effectively at conventions and trade shows:
Networking Tip 1: Show interest in what others are doing
Take time to walk around and talk with other vendors and corporations at the event and ask them about their product or service. Show genuine interest and enthusiasm for what they are selling. Ask them what their goals and vision is for the business. Ask them about their story of starting up and the culture they’re seeking to build in their companies. In turn, others will be interested in who you are and what your company has to offer.
Networking Tip 2: Offer your help or advice
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” – Theodore Roosevelt.
The very best thing you can do to build a connection is to give before you receive. When you establish a connection with someone, don’t ask yourself “what can I get out of this?” Instead, ask yourself “How can I help this person?” Doing so will cause others to feel your genuine desire for their well-being, which will cause them to want to help you as well. Reciprocation is number one in networking.
Networking Tip 3: Never skip a potential network connection
While you may think that an ‘All-natural Pet Chew Toys’ company has nothing to do with your SAAS startup, don’t pass up the chance to meet someone new at an event. Remember, you don’t know who their friends and connections are. And even if nothing comes of it, at least your company’s name is getting out to one more person, and that’s a win.
Networking Tip 4: Give them something tangible
People love free stuff. Companies and corporations are no different. If you want to be remembered, you have to give people something to be remembered by. Samples are a great way of doing this if your particular product allows for it.
If you want your business to be successful, be unique. Stand out. Don’t just hand someone a business card and call it good. Give them something they won’t forget.
Let us know some of the ways you’ve found success in networking. At Private Label Chocolate, we take networking seriously, and seek to find a way to connect with other genuine givers. Feel free to reach out and learn about what we’ve found to be successful efforts in our own networking.
BONUS: Don’t forget to follow up!
You can show up and collect all the business cards you can possible fit in the convention swag bag, but if you don’t take the time to follow up with individuals – phone calls, zoom meetings, lunches, etc – then you have absolutely wasted your time! Real relationships are built by consistently following up and making invitations. In your first meeting, spend time exploring your new connection’s business and personal life. Then schedule another follow up to actually exchange referrals, and show up with at least 2-3 great names of people that can really help them. Follow through with introductions to these people, and then check in a few weeks after to see how it went.