As I wait to board my plane at Brisbane airport I noticed one of the things today that happens all the time but we don't realise how much it can affect the opportunities we are able to generate in our businesses. I have always been a person that likes to be somewhere earlier rather than later and leave as late as possible so that I don't suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
Today I realised this is one of the reasons I have had so many wonderful opportunities and relationships developed. As I was exhibiting at the North Gold Coast Expo which by the way was super awesome, I noticed around 3pm people started to pack up their stands. The expo was 10-4 and so I found it interesting as one stand did it, others followed and by 3:30pm 80% of the stands were packed up. Hmmm... I didn't move as I had people still coming up to me, entering my competition and having chats about my business. I also had moments of lul around 3pm but so what, that's what happens right?
My hottest conversation of the day happened at 3:45pm and the winner of my competition entered at 3:30pm... Both those ladies were such great matches for what I do. I mean how long does it really take to pack up a stand. Ten minutes max, I know some expo's are huge and have a lot more product but the tables there today were all a 10-15 minute pack up job.
Similar thing happens at Networking events, people walking in late, leaving early, expecting to score just because they fly in and out. What is all that about? Come on guys, relationships with influential people is what you need to succeed in business!
How to you catch these influential people? You arrive early and leave late. I understand there are exceptions to the rule but if you want to find a good time to catch influential people, go in earlier (not too early), say 15 minutes before the official opening and offer to help - twice! First time they will say no, but second time they will agree and let you help. I learnt this from my business partner and sister from another mother Francesca Moi which makes total sense. I had been doing this but she made me aware of it and put language around it.
The people that will be there early will be the speaker and organiser - the most influential people at any event. Build a relationship with them, visit the event multiple times and be a helpful participant. Before you know it you will be chatting to them about you having an opportunity to present or you will remain top of mind when they have referrals relevant to you.
Be committed to your commitments especially if you are investing money in networking, expos and other events. Often people wait till the last minute to chat to someone or commit to something. Be there, be seen, be helpful and be interested in other people.
Just think if you were the employer paying someone by the hour, would you just let them leave a marketing opportunity because they were tired or thought there is nothing more here. I don't think so. Treat your business like this, you are paying yourself to be there and you are the one that should give a shit the most about how well you do.
Finally, don't waste your time doing these marketing strategies if you are not going to follow up. Follow up 24 to 48 hours max after an event, expo or meeting new people. Connect on social media, send them what you have promised before they go cold and forget about you. Don't waste time or money, be proactive, squeeze the most out of opportunities and turn up even when you don't feel like it.