Imagine for a moment that someone decided they were going to help you grow your business. Sounds nice, right? So, this person went out and gathered all the right people together. They brought your potential vendors and potential clients all in one place. Now, all you have to do is make the connections and work on closing deals.
This might sound too good to be true, but it’s not. It happens all the time at trade shows, conferences, and other business events. The right people are there, now it’s up to you to take advantage of it. One of the best ways to do this is by leveraging strategic B2B meetings at events.
Face-to-face interaction is where it’s at
Don’t fall for the belief that you don’t need to have as many face-to-face meetings now that we have technology at our fingertips. Yes, online marketing is important and there are plenty of ways to increase sales through a website and social media. But, when it comes to making real connections with the right people in a company, negotiating deals, and closing sales, face-to-face is where it’s at.
But, don’t think just showing up in person at an event is going to work. According to an article on The Washington Post’s website, “More than eight in ten executives prefer in-person meetings to virtual contact, noting they create space for tough, timely business decisions and foster more complex strategic thinking.” Scheduling B2B strategic meetings when you are traveling to events is an effective way to make this happen.
Trust is built in person
One of the reasons that strategic meetings have such a large impact on business growth is because they help build trust. 72 percent of people are influenced based on looks and a handshake when networking. And, the same survey found that 85 percent of the people questioned preferred in-person meetings and conferences because they “build stronger, more meaningful business relationships.”
Those are good reasons why you should be trying to make the most of your time at trade shows, conferences, and events. You won’t experience the same results simply from showing up. You need to plan before the event begins. This allows you to have strategic B2B meetings scheduled with the key executives that you want to develop working relationships with. And, don’t forget about existing relationships that you want to continue to foster.
This is easy enough for small companies. However, large corporations need to be proactive in keeping meetings straight and tracking results. With the right planning for these meetings, you can create, reach and exceed your growth goals.
Originally published on CMO Council Blog.