The theme of yesterday's HRCC (Heights-Hillcrest Regional Chamber of Commerce) was 'Bringing More to the Table'. This theme had a double meaning, because not only did it refer to what you bring to the table in the way of promoting your product and your business, but it also referred to the upcoming HRCC Business Expo on May 4th, so much of what was discussed referred to this upcoming event where there will be much B2B marketing and opportunity for networking for potential business growth. Here are some highlights...
Many of us live in 'literal land', while others live in 'experience land'. In 'literal land', when we market to others, we carry with us the things that are tangible and hopefully leave an impression (i.e., business cards, flyers, our products, specials, website, etc.) With those who live in 'experience land', they promote more themselves - their energy, personality, knowledge, expertise, ability to connect, passion and values.
We were reminded that being aware of the needs of others is an incredibly powerful place to be in business. People often don't stop and allow themselves to become aware enough. For example, don't make the mistake of spending too much time trying to figure someone out; they will gladly tell you about themselves for the most part! Also, others' feedback is a gift and is not something to get offended at. Instead, welcome it!
Another helpful tip - if our image or if descriptive words that describe who we are is not on our marketing materials, we are missing out on a marketing goldmine. This is something that was emphasized throughout the breakfast.
Further, we may have an impression of someone on the phone or through email, but often that impression is much different when we meet that person.
From time to time it is wise to remind ourselves and ask: What are we really selling? It is not our product or service, sometimes you'll hear that a customer chooses a company who doesn't have the best product but they like the people. So, it is YOU that you're selling. That is YOUR greatest power. You need to sell your experience, your knowledge, your personality, etc. How many people do you know who have said they would never do business with a company because of their negative, first-time impression or experience with them?
As an exercise, we went around our own table trying to sell each other the exact same pen that each of us were taking notes with. They were on the tables along with notepads before we got there in the morning. Although the product was the same, the experience taught us which of us lived in 'literal land' and which lived in 'experience land'.
We were also reminded that showing pulls while telling pushes. In grade school, it was not called "Tell and Show" but "Show and Tell". Show is what you want to focus on. So, create pressure free zones by emphasizing the show - yourself, your company, talk naturally. Find out what needs your potential client has, what they do, etc. The best way to talk about yourself is not to talk about yourself. Use an analogy and then say that's what you do. Our senses remember, what we say does not leave that big of an impression. For example, if you smell nice, dress well, if we have good manners, show personal interest in others, etc. - this is what people remember over what you say.
To wrap up, the speakers asked what we would do at the Expo if we didn't have any marketing materials and just an empty table or booth. We thought about it and they said 'if you cannot do what you do without your materials, you cannot do what you do with your materials.' The point? Bring yourself to the table more than anything else. To raise the stakes with your marketing efforts, combine and balance living in both 'experience land' and 'literal land'.
The HRCC Business Expo will be held on Thursday, May 4th, 2017 from 3pm to 7pm. For a brief video to whet your appetite and for location, click here...