In the age of the internet, and digital media, is it still important that people meet face-to-face to do business? Lots of people shop at Amazon and other online retailers, who are faceless, but they still buy, in fact not only do they buy, they spend million of pounds every year.
When delivering my sales courses, I use my golf analogy to explain the relationship between sales and marketing. I explain marketing as like placing the tee in the ground and the ball on the tee, and sales as the ones who hit it onto the green and put the ball in the hole. My marketing counterparts frequently contradict me and say, they put the tee in the ground, put the ball on the tee, hit it right up to the hole, and the sales people tap it in and take all the glory! In the case of an online retailer, marketing score a hole in one!
So why do we not buy everything online? Well, the old adage that people buy people is still as alive now as it ever was. This is because 97% of communication is non-verbal, so face-to-face interactions are by far the best way to build a relationship and understand behaviours.
A fantastic way of meeting new potential clients face-to-face is at business exhibitions. They are a great way to spark up new relationships, rekindle old relationships, and develop existing ones.
So what are my top tips for maximising your time at an exhibition?
1. ALWAYS do your research
Know who is exhibiting, work out who you would like to buy from, who you would like to supply to or who would make a great strategy partner.
2. Use social media as a way to connect with potential clients
So make sure you share on your channels, and ask who else is attending. Who knows, your hottest prospect may reply!
3. Timing on the day is key
Make sure you plan your time around any keynote speakers or workshops; they are a great way to be educated and motivated, but time slots are sometimes limited so make sure you book early.