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7 Tips on How To Prepare for Business Events

Are you scratching your head after business events wonderingwhy you aren't finding prospects? Whether it's your firstor 100th event, here are some tips on how to prepare foryour next event that can make the difference betweenscratching and smiling. These tips will help you save time,money, create memorable impressions, and increaseconnections.

1. Know your intention. Why are you attending? Listen toyour self-truth. Are you attending to refine your skills,build relationships, make sales, or need to just get awayfrom the office? Intentions work best when they are limitedto one. The limitation clarifies and directions all youractions. When there are multiple intentions, you begin withconfusion and convey the same to all at the function.

Does your intention match the type of event? If it's aChristmas party and your intention is to generate sales,there isn't a match. You don't want to give a negativefirst impression; they take too long to change. If youaren't sure what types attend the event, contact the eventmanager, and ask or use of the theme as your answer.

What does your business need? Maybe you need a referral,are looking for a new employees, or accountant, or imageconsultant. A need can be a secondary or first intention.If you decide to include a need into the equation, make sureyou know what that need is, how to present it and to whom.After you ask, what is the next step? Clarity is necessaryfor success. You job is to be ready for when it appears.

Are you ready for the sale? I've met many people who wantsales but aren't ready for the orders. If someone says yesat the event, are you ready with the next step? If not,reconsider your attendance. It is better investment tofocus your time on finishing the preparation. A firstimpression of not knowing what you are doing isn't a goodimpression to give.

2. Continuing with the topic of needs...what are yourshort-term, medium-term, and long-term needs now? If youare seeking short-term funds and the event is about buildingrelationships, medium to long-term, then it might be wise topass it up for now and pursue endeavors that match.

For a new business, short-term is three months or less,medium-term from four or six to eight months, and long-termis anything over that. Short-term projects usually matchshort-term funds, and so on. It's like buying food andpaying for it over a six-month period when the food onlylasts 30 days. You are buying apples to pay off withoranges, and the two never mix well.

If there is a mixture, do you have something available tosell that will generate short-term funds? For coaches,whose prices do not fall into the short-term attractionrange, selling coaching with the thought that it makesshort-term funds is a mix match. Coaching falls intomedium-term and long-term and seldom short-term unless yourname is very recognizable.

3. It takes three contacts before people are aware that youexist. It doesn't matter if this is in person, an ad, orthree ezines. What three do you use to create awareness foryourself? This is why the 60-second elevator speech isimportant. Yet, by itself, it's too lonely. Shaking handsand carrying on a discussion is another but that is stillshy of three. If you write Internet articles, bring copiesto the event. Don't place the articles on the generaltable, personally hand them out so people can connect thetwo.

4. Rehearse don't practice. Create a list of 10 openingquestions, choose a few at a time from that list, andrehearse them with colleagues, friends, or family.Rehearsing is interacting with live people and is closer towhat you will actually be doing. Practicing into a taperecorder is the next best thing because it allows you tohear the voice others will hear. If that makes you twinge,then maybe that is exactly what others are feeling as well.Work with a voice coach to refine your tone.

Here are ten story-opening questions to get your started.Pull from these and then create your own.

(1) What do you enjoy most about what you're doing?

(2) What is the strangest (or funniest) incident you'veexperienced in your business?

(3) What marketing have you found most effective in yourbusiness or industry?

(4) What is your key product (or service)?

(5) What do people like best about working with you?

(6) What is your number one need at the moment?

(7) What do you like most about coming here? If it's theirfirst time, "What do they like most about the event thusfar?"

(8)What business trends do you see affecting you right now(or next year)?

(9) If I had an ideal customer of yours in front of me rightnow, describe them.

(10) How do you see this event helping you in your business?

Know what actions you want to occur and what are theirtriggers. Rehearse until smooth, not strained. Are yougoing to ask them to become a subscriber for yournewsletter? Visit your website? Sign up for a workshop?Set up a time for coffee? You will most likely have severalcalls to action, limit them to five, and never request morethan one per person per event. Otherwise, you will comeacross as too pushy or confuse your listener.

Ask attendees to join you in the next step. "Ask and youshall receive." Ask if they are interested in having a calltogether. Ask if they would like to be a subscriber andmention the main benefit people tell you why they enjoyreceiving it. Ask if they would like to register for yourworkshop. If they answer anything other than yes, theyaren't interest, it's important to just move on. Never,never, never, promise to call and don't. The label willfollow you.

5. Differentiate yourself from others in similarprofessionals. Even twins have differences. Leave thehumbleness at home. How are you different from others inthe same profession or selling the same type of product?Can you explain the differences in 2 minutes during anyintroduction if needed? Any longer and the listener zonesout because the conversation is no longer about them.

Due to its importance, let me repeat this. If you don'tknow what you're selling, how you are different, or have aclear direction on your current prospect needs, then youaren't ready to attend any events yet. Spend the timedefining these first.

6. A memorable moment includes several items. One of theitems is your personal style. You can accomplish this inyour selection of clothing, tone, or language. You can wearscarves or ties with themes, a comment-getting pin, hats,and the same color in shirts or shoes. I knew a man whoalways wore cowboy boots. He had a wide collection, theymatched his accent, and people could spot him across theroom. Did his style increase business? You bet. Create astyle and treat it like your trademark or calling card.

7. Know what you're marketing strategy for attending thisevent -- all seven steps. What happens after yes, afterthey become a subscriber, or any other call to action youhave? Always have the next step planned no matter whichdirection the conversation goes.

Be the leader and they will follow. Be the leader, insideand then out.

(c) Copyright 2004, Catherine Franz. All rights reserved.

Catherine Franz, a Business Coach, specializes in for-profitnonfiction writing, marketing, and product development.Newsletters, articles, forms, and other information businessdevelopment, marketing success, writing, and laws ofattraction are available at: http://www.abundancecenter.comblog: http://abundance.blogs.com


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