10 Must Dos to Engage Prospective Customers
Whether we are presenting your self and your business one-on-one networking, presenting your business’s elevator pitch to a group, presenting your business in a showcase presentation or presenting your self and your business to a large audience at a conference, on social media or YouTube, here are the top ten must dos, generated by the business owners of the Albany Creek Business Contacts group, to position your self to maximise your success.
- Plan for Success. There is no point turning up to an occasion if you haven’t thought about why you are there and what you wish to achieve from being there. Even if posting a video on line, why are you doing it, what is the message you wish to convey, what do you wish to achieve, how do you know if it was worth the investment? Make sure you are clear on how you are going to differentiate your business from your competitors – know what you are going to say.
- Dress for Success. Dress appropriately for the occasion. Make sure cloths are ironed and presentable (eg, not ripped, have stains or droppings on them). If appropriate, wear your business’s uniform and/or a name badge.
- Avoid the Scatter Gun Card. Nothing disengages others than to have someone bombard and thrust business cards at them and then move on to the next unsuspecting victim. Make sure you present your card and engage in conversation with the person you give the card to. Isn’t it better to get 3-6 follow-up prospects than 50 “not a hope of anything”?
- Remember, it’s not just about you. Don’t dive right in to a marketing pitch about your business as soon as you are introduced to your audience (no matter whether a single individual or a large group). Take the time to find out about your audience and listen to what they tell you so you can tailor your response to solve their needs. Make eye contact and use positive body language to show you are genuine.
- Communication is person to person. As rightly pointed out in the discussion, there is no such thing as business to business communication. Communication is person to person. It is about how you connect with others and make them feel. If they don’t buy you then they won’t buy your product.
- Dumb down the Jargon. In every industry there is jargon, acronyms and common language. What might make sense to you and others in your industry may not mean the same to your audience (an example used was an event where the author was referring to QTC – the audience had a number of interpretations at their finger tips such as Queensland Treasury Corporation, Queensland Theatre Company, Queensland Turf Club and so on). Make sure you use a language and style your audience will understand.
- First Impressions can deceive. OK, hands up if you didn’t immediately connect with the person you are married to/is your partner? Our first impressions of our audience are not necessarily our lasting impression. Sometimes, we just don’t connect instantly. Seek common ground – find commonality through discussion to enable a relationship to be established and hopefully grow. Try the 3 Rule – within 3 seconds find one thing about the audience; in 30 seconds find out another thing and in 3 minutes determine how you can relate to the audience.
- Leave them wanting more. Remember, you don’t have to give everything to your audience in your first encounter. The intention is to tickle their interest sufficiently for them to want to know more. If possible, establish another meeting/appointment before parting to give another opportunity to build rapore and hopefully a long standing relationship.
- Honesty is the best policy. If you want your audience’s respect then you must show respect and honesty. Spin might sound good at the time but if your business can’t deliver then your reputation is shot. If you can’t solve their problem, say so – if possible refer to a colleague who can (hopefully they will return the favor).
- Turn Up. Don’t forget, you have to be in it to win it so put yourself and your business out there!
(Primary contributors to this blog – Andrew Gallagher, Lollyworld – Sandra Gilliman, Streten Mason Lawyers – Kirsty Newberry, Caring Cottage – Scott Deaves, David Deane Real Estate – Dan Milgate, Fit 4 Life Personal Training – Oriano Giammichele, GT Racing Mobile Mechanic – Leonard Whittaker, Action Cycle Learning)
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