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1. Lose the notes (do I really need to say this?)
It may seem obvious, but your dependence on your speaking notes is dragging you down. Having to refer to notes about what you are going to say decreases your credibility, prevents you from making eye contact with your audience, and limits your charisma and body language. Remember, you are speaking because you are the expert. Know the topic, know what you are going to say, and say it. The only exception to this rule is if you are reporting on specific facts and numbers.
It’s been a fabulous week; I’m writing this on Thursday, following two really successful events – our Cardiff Lunch on Tuesday and the Cardiff Breakfast on Wednesday morning. I still get really concerned that it all goes well, though you’d think that after running BizNet for 14 years I’d be used it by now and I should be able to do it standing on my head. (I can’t stand on my head at home, so I don’t know why the saying goes that I might do it when running a networking event. Still, it’s food for thought for a possible future event, but I’d have to practise.)
Cardiff lunch was at the Marriott – in town. The Marriott staff are excellent and proactively approach each member as they arrive to offer them a drink. I’m also surprised that they even remember some of the members’ names. I overhear one of our...Read more
Ask questions: Don’t sell – find out about other businesses first.
Get specific: Ask what other businesses are looking for and keep it in your mind.
Meet up: Take time to meet with other businesses outside the networking environment to get to know them better.
Review: After each event, review who you met and see how you can help.
I ran a successful Focus Group for a Cardiff client last week. A type of market research, a Focus Group gets a sample of your customers in a room (we had 22) to discuss what they like and don't like about your services and company generally.
You can't be there - the session is chaired by an independent "Moderator" (me) and the participants are guided through a series of (pre-agreed) discussion topics.
Interestingly, as well as getting a steer on customer service and customer loyalty, you can also literally ask your target audience what turns them on in terms of promotional messages and find out how best to market to them. That means not only better customer service and up-selling but it also tells you how to attract more customers like the ones in the room!
Last week, we found out some really useful information which will doubtless prove fruitful in the next phase of marketing activity. The output will form an action plan for the company...Read more