The African Business Forum is a great example of the power business forums have to bring together buyers and sellers to produce stronger business relationships. The key to success in this type of event is to work on developing new contacts and relationships. Be open to offer what you have, and let people know what you are looking to purchase.
FYEO Trade Alerts -- Provides weekly alerts about technology businesses seeking or offering specific services, products, and materials. Designed to help you get the resources you need to be more profitable. Complementary listings for Applying Strategic Relations subscribers, comparably priced to be more valuable than advertising.
Applying Strategic Relations -- A members-only subscription service teaching executives how to build stronger business relationships with one-to-one coaching, an exclusive research library, and publications to support your business objectives. Members are encouraged to network and are frequently brought together for live events.
The best trade forums focus on specific industries. As the services provided by the Center focus on technology based companies internationally, you'll find regional and national forums focusing on the specific trade concerns of the area they serve. If you join this kind of group, you are expected to constructively participate-- give more than you get at first and you'll find new doors open to your organization.
How to establish new relationships through trade and business forums:
Know your products and services well. You need to know what your products provide the buyer, what kind of buyer benefits most, and who in your company can get someone more information. Selling is not the primary purpose of a business forum, you just want to match buyers then following with a selling interaction.
Practice various 30-second elevators speeches. When someone asks who you are, be specific and to the point. By varying your response, you sound less rehearsed, and can get past the nervousness that is common with meeting new people.
Be able to answer Who-What-When-Where. Be specific with your answers to peoples questions by providing complete details in short focused statements followed by a clarification question. "We've provided executive coaching services for high-tech companies formally since 1999, How long have you been involved in software engineering?"
Ask meaningful questions and listen. It isn't all about you, ask about other peoples business and seek details that can help you reach business objectives. Ask people what kind of business they are looking to product, what does an ideal customer look like, and how can you help them reach their objectives.
Ask for business cards with purpose. Ask for business cards only when you have a reason to contact the other person, we have all met the executive with thousands of business cards stacked around the office. Once you get a card, write on the back of it exactly what you will do to follow up. If it's not worth your time in follow on then don't ask for the card.
Give out business cards with purpose. For the same reason you don't want everybody's business card, only give your card away to people you want to hear from. You'll just end up in someone's database and who has time to be called by sales people.
Give away someone else's business card. If you're not the right person to contact over a matter, give away a business card of one of your strategic partners or even a sales person. Why should you have to reroute calls that aren't meant for you anyway, save other people time by putting the right people together. (Be sure they mention your name when they call.)
Have a after-forum game plan before you start. Your purpose for attending the business forum must be defined prior to attendance, this gives you focus and helps you accomplish more business in less time. Know exactly what you're going to do with the information you gather.
Seek mutual benefit in every contact. Don't waste or monopolize peoples time with idol chat. If you want to speak with this person say, "Great conversation, let me get your business card and we can finish this discussion later, meanwhile, have you met..." Stay focused on networking, save conversations for a later time.
Introduce the people you meet to others. With every introduction think about who you could introduce that person to, and in effect extend your own network. When you bring something of value to someone you just met, you earn favor and reciprocal consideration.
Justin Hitt provides powerful insights to improve the quality of leads through physical and electronic social networking so you can close more sales. For individual coaching or an initial consultation, visit him at https://www.justinhitt.com/