The Community Shopper Magazine may be an advertising magazine – generally seen as impersonal – but I want something more from it for my advertisers. I want to build relationships. I want to create a sense of community.

My reflections from a recent tradeshow:

Here I am sitting at another trade show event.  This morning I thought ‘ugh’! How much of a wasted day will this be?

Pulling it together, I got out my rolling suitcase and organized.  Printed off flyers, date cards and grabbed my raffle prize. Geez. Exhausted before I get there.

Noon arrives and the day begins. Setting the table, putting out the magazines……….whatever.

Not really looking forward to such a long day. So why do it?

 

It’s About Relationships

Where else can I meet hundreds of people in such a short timeframe. It’s networking on speed.

Not only do I meet new people, I get to cement relationships with others whom I have met previously. It’s all about connecting with current and prospective clients.  It’s all about connecting with people. It is about an opportunity to bond. In this case, it included an opportunity to chat more with my friend Jared Eddy at Sites Realized – the benefit of sharing a table.

Cold calling is exactly that COLD.  Driving around or dialing endlessly just trying to get past the gate keepers. Granted, a trade show isn’t purely casual, BUT those attending expect to be sold. That’s why they are there. I’m not the one approaching others. They’re coming to me. That creates a level of openness to at least listen.

 

Establishing Relationships

It’s my choice not to ‘sell’ to them. How much more powerful is it when, at an event you expect to get a sales pitch you get “Hello. How is your day going?” and a conversation about the day, the weather or whatever? You take notice. You relax. Now, even though you expected to be sold something, you’ve connected on a deeper level. I know, when you are ready, you’ll call me to advertise.

 

Strengthening Relationships

I hug. It’s not always an acceptable practice when working with clients or meeting others in a business setting like a trade show, but I still do. I have worked hard to create strong relationships with clients. Hugs are my way of deepening those relationships. For me, being social and bonding on a more personal level is how I have built a business in a cut throat, ROI driven industry with quality brands. Loyalty is hard to come by when the next latest, greatest or cheapest act comes to town – unless you have nurtured and personalized relationships with your clients.

So here I sit. An Hour and a half in and I’ve made 4 appointments and have 6 to follow up on.  I’m also covered in glitter a sign of great things to come?

The power of building relationships.

Bring it on!