STORY 1: I recently reconnected with an old friend who owns a large B2B publishing company, producing very targeted industrial magazines. As part of their service to advertisers, they also produce a number of vertical trade shows (aligned with those magazines).
When I asked about his publishing business, he said that it was doing fine… but then he added, “The trade shows are growing like crazy!”
STORY 2: A couple of weeks ago, I attended our industry’s CEO Summit. Not only did the event organizers have to increase the limit of the total number of participants they would accept because of demand… the event actually sold out. In fact, they even created a ‘waiting list.’
Why is that? Why are these in-person events so popular?
I’m no sociologist, but I think it’s because we need some human-to-human interaction. We need to be with and around others. Our digital world has us holed-up in our offices or cubicles for so much of the time that when given the opportunity to connect in-person with other like-minded individuals, we jump at the chance!Our digital world has us holed-up in our offices or cubicles for so much of the time that when given the opportunity to connect in-person with other like-minded individuals, we jump at the chance! Click To Tweet
“So, what’s the point, Steve? How does this tie back to marketing and sales?”
It’s really not that complicated.
As you craft your marketing and sales plan, you have to build in tactics that include connecting in-person with your clients & prospects. For example:
- Attend conferences… and network like crazy.
- Add on a couple of days before or after a conference and meet with clients & prospects in that city.
- Don’t forget about the local chapters of national associations that meet near you.
- Do a few ‘city blitzes’ during the year; i.e. Fly to a large city and visit as many clients & prospects as you can in a week.
- Put on lunch-n-learns for your largest clients and prospects.
- Speak at conferences.
- Play in your own backyard! Visit nearby clients & prospects, take them out for coffee and just talk.
Remember this: companies will not do business with you until they get to know you… then like you… then trust you. That sort of relationship takes time to develop and is incredibly difficult to build remotely. Connecting – in-person – accelerates this process in a way that email never will.
Want to grow your business this year? Then get out from behind your desk and go be with people!
Go on… a little ‘fresh air’ will be good for you.