Here are some things I noticed on my visit of CeBit Hannover 2014 and business trip to Berlin. It is a summary of my previous two blogs.
Before the fair
- Organize meetings with potential clients. Use the fair meet&match services and systems to get in touch with potential clients. Use professional networks (LinkedIn, Xing). At least you’ll know where to find (halls, stands) your target on the fair.
- Search for non-fair events eg, startup meetings, conferences, anything could be useful. Use Twitter, Facebook, Meetups, etc.
On the fair
- Take backup. There is a lot of work and you should take at least 2-3 people with you. Speaking the native language is a huge advantage.
- Go out and meet people. Nobody (almost) will come to you and ask you what do you do/sell.
- Search for unusual places to find clients. We visited the Government area where nobody went to sell outsourcing and we find great leads.
- Go where you feel comfortable. I went to the Brazilian stand speaking Portuguese and knowing their culture and I got 10 contacts.
- Go to relevant fair conferences. Try to get into the conversation, ask relevant questions and you’ll get good connections and strong leads.
- Talk about partnership rather than selling something. The partnership is mutually beneficial.
- Play VIP. When approaching a potential client play it like you are doing the most important work. Write something that you’ve ‘’noticed’
- Listen to people, find common points of interest and talk about them. If you don’t have one, ask for them.
- Look and read. Research the target client as you approach it. Read the banners to find common points of interest. Look for the decision makers as often sales guys are on the front line.
- Start with important/interesting things. When I present myself I start the with the German clients we have or with the products we do.
- Smile, confirm, look for eye contact. Speak deep and soft. Soft skills are very important for ‘few minutes meetings
- Organize, write down ASAP. Write some keywords on the business cards. With all the information, you get you forget really fast.
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Kickstart on Monday to be faster than the competition. Wednesday everybody goes out so you can wait. Friday seems to be a party days, but we were meeting people till 19:00.
- Go to after-fair parties. Good connections are probably to happen here. You leave a good impression.
- Exercise and eat healthy food. Otherwise, you’ll not have the energy for all the meetings. If you eat heavy food at lunch you’ll be sleepy in the afternoon and you’ll miss a bunch of opportunities.
- Go out and know the city. You’ll have a common talk with everyone.
After the fair
- Contact the most important leads ASAP
- Follow up with letters, LinkedIn, remind yourself. Call on the phone.