Create Your Own Business Opportunities By Elinor Stutz Do you approach business conventions with an open mind? Have you ever noticed some businesspeople view a particular business expo as having been “wonderful” while others thought “it wasn’t worth their time?” Do you ever wonder how there can be such two opposing points of view and, more importantly, how you can put yourself in the first category the next time around? Let’s first consider the people who thought the expo was a waste of time and money. Most likely, they walked down the vendor aisles thinking, “That’s not for me, not for me, not for me…” It’s a very easy habit to get oneself into. The other habit of these negative attendees is they stick closely to their friend and do not attempt to meet other businesspeople. Once the negativity sets in, it would be impossible for them to attract others to their service, meet people in the media, take advantage of an interview or connect with speakers to find out how in the future they may become the next businessperson to speak. Your attitude and approach to any business function are of utmost importance. First, like the little engine that could, you have to say to yourself, “I think I can.” Next, you need to say, “I know I can.” From this point onward, creative thinking on how to approach the business functions will catapult you to a new level. Let’s take a look at how this is possible with a business convention. Do You: Pinpoint the vendors who are your exact target audience and visit them first? Proceed to visit all the rest of the vendors Connect with the speakers to hear their backgrounds Trade information with attendees at breaks or when standing in line next to them Take advantage of unexpected opportunities such as an impromptu interview Talk to the organizer of the show to determine if you might be a speaker the next time around Look for media to market your business Let me give you examples of how I achieved these elements. I was a vendor at a business expo. The booth cost money and the hotel cost much more money. I sold only one book. From a P&L viewpoint, it was a disaster. However, I attended breakout sessions to learn new ideas. Most importantly, I scheduled an hour of the organizer’s time after the event to explore ideas of how we may work together in the future. In the process, she mentored me for 1 ½ hours -her time was worth far more than the original costs. At the second expo, I presented my business on many levels – sales training for businesses; sales curriculum for learning based companies to add to their repertoire; my book for purchase; my book to place in stores of vendors; articles for vendors of magazines; and I grabbed the opportunity to interview on webtv.com. By creatively approaching the expo, I created many more opportunities for “selling my services.” By using your “I can do it” attitude and willingness to meet others at all levels, you will exponentially increase how you do business and with whom you conduct business. The more creative you can become in presenting your service, the wider your network will become. You will find: Others become attracted to you Requests will come forth to talk to you Referrals will come your way I learned a new approach at the last business expo I attended. The speaker was saying that women must learn to state factually their awards and reasons for presenting themselves as experts in their field. Many of us were taught by our parents to not brag. But as teenagers will say, “get over it!” That day, I began to tell others, “I was a top-producing and awarding- winning salesperson over my 13 year corporate sales career, and I now train others on the secrets of my success.” The above statement is completely true. It apparently did not sound like bragging to others. Instead, my listeners asked if they could call me. They followed up with set appointments and also provided referrals into high level companies that I would otherwise not have received. In closing, I challenge you to attend your next business function with an “I can attitude”, and an open and creative mind. If you do, you, too, will derive far better benefits than you have to date. I want you to return to your office saying to yourself, “I knew I could!” Elinor Stutz http://www.smoothsale.net “I hoist your sales!” Sign up for our Sales Tips newsletter bi-monthly and *free*!