"Houston, we have contact." Attracting Clients at Expos!
"Houston, we have contact." Attracting Clients at Expos! There are some self-employed professionals who spend a lot of time and money attending Expo's. They'll grab 5,000 business cards, get tri-color brochures printed, and network at every booth until their feet wear out. But, they still don't attract the exact target audience that will do anything and pay anything to work with them. You know this type of person, because they'll tell you that their doing all the "right marketing" and yet producing no real results at the Expo. (Hey, is this you I'm talking about?)
You might say to yourself, "Well, what am I doing wrong?" Since I actually get asked this a lot, here is what I've discovered. Expo's differ from networking events in that most of the adults at the event will want to do business with one another, but most of the time not. Most of the time they are your direct competition or your strategic alliance. But keep in mind...you will find a few clients in all this activity.
So, The Key to Client Communication at these events is to know something new about the industry that the average professional does not know. Most folks who attend Expo's make a CLIENT KILLER mistake by talking about themselves, before asking engaging questions. Yak...yak...yak. So your chance for a high-trust connection just went down the drain.
You've heard me say it before, that there is an outer strategy of marketing, and an inner strategy. If you got the brouchures, the business cards, the suit, the haircut, the bright white teeth, but you don't have a set of memorized engaging questions to ask...then you are going to blow your opportunity to connect with clients at an Expo.
This by far is my most effective strategy to work on with my clients. Why? Because when you begin a conversation at an Expo with: Have you heard about so-in-so? How has X or Y affected your business?.....you are asking someone for their advice or their wisdom. And, when you ask an adult for their professional experience, you ALWAYS have a greater chance of making a connection that attracts clients.
Remember, the key here is to cultivate relationships first, then shift to explaining what line of work you're in and the results your clients get.
So, here's an Expo strategy that will leave you feeling energized, instead of burnt out:
1. First, seek out the vendors who are your exact target audience to visit. Do not market yourself to everyone!
2. Then, connect with the speakers to hear their experience and how it has impacted your line of work.
3. You could ask the speaker who the organizer is, so that you can determine if you can speak the next time around.
4. Why not seek out the media, and take advantage of an interview?
5. Last but not least...trade your business cards and information with other Expo attendees who are not your ideal clients.
One final thought. Depending on the ethnic or regional culture that is attending the Expo, don't be fooled if adults seem to be interested in your business. For example, there are Asian cultures who will politely listen to you, in order to save face, and then do their best to forget about you when you walk away. Just remember to seek out your target audience first, then watch their body language as you ask engaging questions. If they appear to enjoy speaking with you, then you have a connection.
About the Author:
Kim Schott, your Global Client Communication Expert, is the author of the Keys to Client Communication System, the step-by-step, paint by numbers client communication program to attract more clients in less time. To receive your weekly how-to articles on consistantly attracting more local and global clients in less time, visit www.SchottCulturalConsulting.com
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