In today’s reseller environment, traditional marketing and sales methods are not working. Prospective clients are bombarded with junk mail in their letter boxes, junk advertisements in their magazines and spam in their email mailboxes. We have so little time these days to read all the marketing material thrown at us and often it accumulates only to be deleted or thrown out without being read.
What is the modern solution? Networking. You need to get in front of people in an environment where they are not distracted and you can be the focus. We need to start speed dating (networking) with our clients, partners and vendors. Networking events held by various government small business bodies, user group meetings and other events, give you the ability to meet new people, make new partnerships and extend your company exposure.
Social networking is not a new term. Twitter, Messenger, Facebook, Linkedin, Spoke, Plaxo, Zaabiz and various forums have been around for what feels like ages. People subscribe to trends they find interesting and start to put their own thoughts into the conversation. It seems that we are headed into a world where we need to break into peoples consciousnesses and absorb more of their short attention spans. Social networks are fulfilling this need and have become an essential tool of trade. Having said this, there is no substitute for taking this to the next level. Face to face meetings.
To get your voice heard and break into new markets you need to have an online presence and participate in networking events. You need to leverage your best asset. You.
To reflect back to the title of this article, what would dating websites be like if there was no chance of a physical meeting with the person you are interested in? Do you think that they would survive?
You want to survive and are the best resource to represent your company. If you are not already, you need to start speed dating.
To participate in this process you need to understand other parallels with speed dating. You need to get across why you are special, ask your prospect what their desires are and come to an agreement. You need to be memorable and someone the person wants to see again. You want to be able to offer something, hopefully something no one else can offer, and you need to leave an impression they will never forget.
I can understand many of you would be hesitant. Many of you would be nervous and don’t want to make the first move. Many fear speaking to new people and would not know what to say. Many fear being rejected and many can’t see how they could make an impact. Some fear finding the wrong person or even saying the wrong thing. Again, this parallels speed dating. The only way to overcome your fear is to attend many events, get used to talking about the best things you can supply and focus on the client. The more you ask the prospective client questions, the more they will realise you are interested, the more the focus is off you and the more special they feel.
Through my interactions with user groups, vertical market conferences and small business support groups, I have gained many clients, many partners and many friends. I have increased my resources, spread my skills by word of mouth and achieved many unexpected goals. Give IT speed dating a go. I want to hear about your success. I would love to hear about those unexpected call-backs after you have been “speed dating”. I want your tips. GITCA wants to help you learn to speed date.
Michael Jenkin is a director of Business Technology Partners Pty Ltd and APAC chairman for GITCA. michael.jenkin@GITCA.org