Trade Show Tip #7:  Networking and relationship building

Networking is ideally about building relationships and letting people know who you are so that when the opportunity for your service or product arises, your name is the first name that crosses their lips.  A business card alone cannot do that; but you can.

Building relationships is critical for anyone planning to survive in business for the long run.

Things to think about as you build your trade show relationships at Outdoor Retailer:

  • Treat everyone you encounter with genuine interest and professional consideration.
  • Share your business passion with everyone who expresses interest in you.  One of my most valuable contacts early on came from a causal conversation with a waiter.
  • Be careful to not make quick judgments about anyone entering your booth.
  • Let yourself come across.  Be genuine.  Be interested. Be memorable by being authentic.
  • Try to get to know your booth visitor by asking questions and listening to their answers.  Do not discount them if they are not a potential buyer.  You never know who they might know.
  • Share relevant articles and company news post-show with your contacts that demonstrates your awareness of their needs.
  • Learn enough about your visitor to pass referrals to them.

Business relationships, like personal relationships, take time to develop. Can you imagine wanting to hang out with someone who only told you about themselves and did not express any interest in you? I didn’t think so!

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