I hear this a lot from business owners I meet. “How do I get more business?”
Well, without offending their gentle souls…here is an idea, it may seem radical, revolutionary and perhaps even Lunacy, so I will whisper it…
“get out from behind your desk and laptop screen and go and find people”
OK, in case you didn’t hear or it didn’t sink in, I will have to shout it aloud
“GET OUT FROM BEHIND YOUR DESK AND LAPTOP SCREEN AND GO AND FIND PEOPLE”
Social media is a brilliant tool, the telephone is a brilliant tool, email is a brilliant tool. But in my life, I have seen trends, fads and the next big thing come and fizzle away…what remains through time is the whites of the eyes, the smile when you greet someone, the handshake, the nerves just before the initial meet, the little voices giving you advice and checking,
“is my right hand free”
“are my hands clammy”
“am i flying low!”
Face to face meetings, networking, exhibitions, speednetworking, seminars and workshops, peers. You can invest your time focusing on actually meeting people and taking your company, your brand, yourself to the people. And you could do each of these separately OR you could leverage your time….How?
Allow me to introduce to you Neil & Tracey Davis. A client of mine who are passionate beyond belief in creating, building and developing proactive, productive business relationships with a unique fusion with all of the above.
So far they are rocking their business shows in the UK which combines the style of exhibitions and networking, with educational seminars, speakers, speednetworking and over 100 plus businesses at every show keen to meet, greet and ‘do’ business in the room.
Yesterday they ‘Rocked’ Gloucester at the Cheltenham Chase Hotel. A brilliant venue, easily to locate, plenty of parking, friendly & efficient staff and fab scenery! A great indication of a vibrant, active and results orientated show is when people turn up at the beginning of the day, are still there in the afternoon and follow up meetings post show are happening in the bar…yesterday had all that in spades.
From the moment you arrive you are greeted by a positive vibe and grown up, friendly fun approach to doing business. The reception crew were ace. Tracey and Neil greet everyone (believe me that is no small feat) and they go further than that. Prior to the show they get to know their exhibitors well. Their network is also strong, so the delegates tend to be on first name terms, if not, it certainly doesn’t take long. This means when Neil and Tracey say you to, “I want you to meet someone” it is because they truly do. They can see, how what you do, could benefit the person they wish to introduce you too and vice versa. A networking masterclass happening right before your eyes (take time to notice and learn from these guys).
As you entered yesterday you were greeted by the shows sponsor Complete Vending Services (CVS) with their awesome coffee machines. http://www.completevendingservices.co.uk/ are a preferred distributor of Douwe Egberts. I think it is safe to say ‘A major hit’ with all exhibitors and delegates. One important note to add here, if you are in business, their solution is affordable, very high quality and with the touchscreen coffee machine will leave a lasting impression on any visitor or customer coming to your premises.
Let’s run around the room and pick out some highlights for you… Phil M Jones was one of the speakers yesterday, with his ‘Forward to basics’ educational workshop on Sales. Phil, a Sales Professional who trains and coaches businesses and their teams in Sales and Business Growth. www.philmjones.com
Then we had http://www.carsondemand.co.uk/, with over thirty years experience in the motor industry, Cars on Demand are specialists in the supply of Short Term Contract Hire and Leasing. Our Flexible Contract Hire and Leasing products include the supply of both Cars and Vans. Whether you are looking for a flexible business solution or flexible personal lease, our small dedicated team offer you the ultimate in flexibility, service and value for money.
Who could miss the ‘Ladies in Red’ from http://www.redvirtualoffice.biz/ RED is a professional, first class customer service focused business team. They are an affordable outsourced service provider, giving you time to concentrate ‘on’ your business, while they work ‘in’ it. Find out how they can help you whether you are in the start up phase or an established business, their service and your budget can fit very well.
While we are talking about passionate people, if you have never invested any time with Robin Cook of http://www.fheconsulting.com/ then you haven’t lived. This guy has bounds of passion for his gifts and he has many of them, IT being one of them. Anyone that can engage with you and not lose you when it comes to IT gets my vote, Robin, I will be asking you to quote soon.
Someone else who I met Friday, (we speed dated….doh, speed networked!) and never got round to chatting more as the day was busy with delegates, is David Holland of http://exela.co.uk/ and I mention David as not only am I hearing good things about him personally, but as a Sales Professional myself I always bang on about systems and process for sales people on top of charm will make a sales person dangerous (in a very good way). Infusionsoft® is the world’s best and fastest growing Marketing & Sales Automation software for the small to midsize company. Infusionsoft®provides you with the tools you need to capture leads, both online & offline; nurture those leads and then turn them into sales.
For those who saw the video for the Bristol Show, will know this next guy. Richard Snell of http://www.lister-communications.co.uk/ who are probably Gloucestershire longest standing reseller of mobile and fixed voice and data services for businesses. No business can survive without communicating, so pick up the phone to Richard and let him sort your telecoms out. One question, who won the ipad?
If you have received an email from the BGS group then you will have seen what http://www.sentori.co.uk/ can do for your business. Email Campaigns, click throughs, marketing and measurables so you can drive volume to your business.
If email campaigns are not your thing yet picking up the phone to business owners and key decision makers is…the only question then is ‘Do I have the data?’ You do now, http://www.b2bleadforce.com/getting-started/ £25 a month gets you access to the UK’s biggest B2B database and it is simple enough to use (even I could!) Give Rupert a call and sit down with him, so he can WOW you with the awesome potential and simplicity of B2B Leadforce.
We also had our very own ITN and BBC qualified cameraman and video producer Alastair in the room.
http://www.sunflowerfilms.org/ a guy who sells what he loves and love his craft he does. With the increase of video in marketing for your business, I would book him before he goes into production!
And finally, before I introduce you to the family that is building in the bottom right hand corner of the room on Friday, I give you Paul Spicer of http://www.lnpsound.com/home/ This guy never stops. Audio, visual, PA systems, video and all round networker. Paul is everywhere. Anyone who has ever used a PA system for speaking or a plasma screen for exhibiting will know, your conversion rate increases when you do. Invest in your business and show you prospective customer you are serious about your business and theirs.
And now, to the family (which makes me sound very Corleone) that is developing all the time.
http://www.talking2minds.co.uk/ are an amazing charity who support ex military. Talking2Minds is leading the way in the effective management and treatment of PTSD and other severe stress related conditions. Their unique programme is key in creating positive outcomes for those that suffer from severe stress related conditions including PTSD. They also support family members and partners that may suffer by proxy/ secondary stress. They specialise in helping complex cases and long term sufferers for whom other approaches have not worked and the mental scars have not healed.
http://www.officedoctors.co.uk/ are far more than de-clutter specialists. They assist people and business to get order in their lives. This comes in many forms from enhancing your knowledge or productivity through to organisation of your information, de-cluttering and organisational layout. The best bit, is the people who carry it out. You wont know until you experience the, so get in touch. Simple.
http://www.ethosdevelopmentltd.com/ Michelle makes an impact wherever she goes. Ethos Development – The Business Generation Machine. Everything that ETHOS does has a shared end objective. The Generation of New Business.
And our End to End solutions for businesses. We recruit YOUR sales and marketing professionals. Then we train YOUR sales and marketing professionals to reach their optimum performance levels. We then coach YOUR team to keep them there.
All that is left for me too say is, if you are not on the list above, come and make yourself known next time. If you want to know how to get more business, get off your backside and go get it. Come to the next show and showcase YOU.
Neil and Tracey – take a bow. Lets rock Cheltenham in September.