Top 9.5 Tips To Generate Leads at Exhibitions

1. Pick a show your target customers will be attending. You’d be amazed how many companies pick the wrong show. If you’re thinking of exhibiting visit the show first if you can and get a feel for the type of attendees and how many.

2. Look professional and in keeping with your brand. That doesn’t mean wear a three piece suit if that’s not your brand nor does it mean you can’t have fun just make sure you’re appropriate.

3. Always be aware of your behaviour – Even if the stand is quiet assume people are watching you, don’t do anything you wouldn’t do in public. I once saw someone eating a burger on a stand and apart from stinking the place out with the aroma of burnt fat guess what kind of an impression he made with all the juices running down his greasy hands.

4. Be helpful, even if the person you’re talking to is unlikely to give you any business always be nice, polite and helpful. You never know, they might recommend you.

5. Be sure to treat everyone, fellow exhibitors, visitors, exhibition staff and anyone you come in contact with as you would like to be treated yourself. People want solutions they don’t want problems, if there is a problem always suggest a solution and hopefully one that makes everyone happy.

6. Be focussed, know why you’re there. Ie is it a PR exercise, brand awareness, to generate leads or a combination of some or all of them.

7. Engage with the exhibition visitors when they walk by your stand, be bold but not pushy, strike up a conversation. You’d be amazed at how many will talk to you when you just say hello to them.

8. When engaging with visitors, talk about them, find out about their needs and why they’re at the exhibition. Use questions to qualify them, be subtle and don’t interrogate. That way you’ll know if you can help them with your products and services. If they’re not interested why waste your time and energy and theirs.

9. If you meet someone and there is a possibility to do business, always take notes of what you said and to who and then follow up after the show and keep true to your word. Don’t wait, don’t collect £200, don’t go past GO, contact them immediately after the show. Better still ask them when the best time to call would be.

9.5 Take two pairs of shoes with you (different styles) and change them every two hours. It won’t stop your feet from hurting but will be easier on them as they will press on different pressure points.

Coincidently if you take those 9.5 steps not only are they good advice for generating leads on an exhibition stand, most of them also make for good advice to lead a prosperous and fruitful life.

At our planned events we are giving a way a copy of the written e-book by John Hotowka, ‘How To Become A Lead Generation Machine At Exhibitions’ with a ton load more information than you can shake an enquiry pad at – click here for more details of the UK dates and locations.

Are you Inspiring & Motivating your Team?

1. Value People and their significant contributions - People want to feel that they are valued and that they can contribute to others. They need to see that what they are doing is not wasted effort, but is making a contribution. People must see value in what they are doing. Motivation comes not by activity alone, but by the desire to reach the end results. Inspire others by listening actively. Listening to what other people has to say inspires them to open up and put their confidence in you. You inspire others when you show them that you take the time to know and understand them.
2. Good Participation - People support what they create. Being a part of the goal-setting process is motivating and it allows people to feel needed. They like to feel they are making a difference. When people have given input, they have a stake in the issue. They own it and support it. Seeing goals become reality and helping to shape the future is fulfilling. Goal participation builds team spirit, enhances morale, and helps everyone feel important.
3. Positive Words - Positive words inspire positive emotions. Encourage others by reminding them of their talents, skills, and gifts. Focus on what they have done and not what they haven’t done. Project a positive personality. There is no better way to inspire others than by being filled with enthusiasm yourself. This enthusiasm is energy that easily spreads from one person to the next. To be effective, enthusiasm must be genuine; there is no faking enthusiasm. Encourage through difficult times and you’ll be inspiring your staff to see the best in themselves.
4. Be a good Communicator - Increasing your ability to communicate effectively is a critical element for you to inspire others. Watch how you speak and what you say. Invest in your communication skills.
5. Be Vulnerable - Be willing to share your failures as well as your successes. Others will relate to you. They’ll understand that they’re not the only ones with challenges.
6. Role Model - People are inspired by those who “walk the walk”. Do not be afraid to share your own stories of accomplishment. Leaders who inspire practice what they preach and lead by example. People need to believe in what is possible. Stories that people can relate to can be very inspiring. Choose stories that convey the same message you are trying get across.
7. Positive dissatisfaction - Someone said that dissatisfaction is the one-word definition for motivation. Dissatisfied people are highly motivated people, for they see the need for immediate change. They know something is wrong and often know what needs to be done. Dissatisfaction can inspire change or it can lead to a critical spirit. It can lead to apathy or stir one into action. The key is harnessing this energy toward effective change.
8. Recognition – People want to be noticed. They want credit for personal achievements and appreciation for their contributions. Recognition is one way to give meaning to a person’s existence.
9. Show others you genuinely care - People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care. Take a genuine interest in other people.
10. Clear expectations - People are motivated when they know exactly what they are to do and have the confidence that they can do it successfully. No one wants to jump into a tank that is vague or a job whose description is uncertain. Motivation rises in a job when the goals, expectations, and responsibilities are clearly understood. When delegating responsibility, be sure to give the necessary authority to carry out the task. People perform better when they have some control over their work and their time. Those leaders whom we love to hate are the ones who challenge us to do our best. A properly executed challenge can both motivate and inspire.

Click here for details of our Effective Leadership and Management Skills Training

UK Online Social Network Users – Facts and Figures

UK Online Social Network Users, 2008-2013:

In 2010, 17.5 million people will be on social networks (43% of the total online population in the UK)

Next year, 46% of the total online population will be using social networks (19.2 million people)

20.5 million people will be using social networking sites in 2012

By 2013, half of all Internet users will also be social network users (21.9 million people)

Click here to see details of our Effective Social Media Marketing Skills Course

Ten tips on business networking

1. Listen - Active Listening Skills are critical to building healthy business relationships with those people you meet. Listen with meaning, don’t jump in, eliminate distractions, avoid pre-conceived ideas, have great eye contact and be aware of your Body Language, Smile and show compassion, face the person, be relaxed and most of all be yourself !
2. Keep it Simple - Have the ability to communicate effectively who you are and what you do – practise you elevated pitch. How many times do we meet people who won’t stop talking or you are no wiser after they have explained what they do?
3. Have Business Cards – You will be asked for a business card ensure you have one that represents your business professionally and carry upto 50 with you i.e. don’t run out! Don’t push your card onto people and avoid the business card collection unless the contact will be helpful to you.
4. Help someone else - You know what it was like when you were new to networking and you are not sure how and when to start a conversation. Draw new faces into your conversation and make them feel important. Ensure you keep your Body Language in check to allow others to join the conversation i.e. not face to face but with an opening with someone to join. In some important conversations you might not wish others to join you and therefore face to face discussions would normally give out this message.
5. Promises to Deliver – if you do make promises to someone make sure you follow up especially if you offering to open a door to one of your clients or contacts. If you have helped someone then quite often it will come around where they will try to do the same for you. Remember false promises leave lasting wrong impressions.
6. People buy from People – ensure you build and maintain strong business relationships. Be mindful of the time you are spending with someone you know and politely move onto others in the room you haven’t met before.
7. Selling at people – we all hate it so avoid being the double glazing salesman approach at the networking event – you will find people will avoid you next time around. Be remembered for all the right reasons unlike the guy with a clipboard or those with multiple leaflets and handouts you don’t really want.
8. Personal Space and joining others - Understand group body language so you know when to join a group and when you are about to interrupt at a vital stage – gently edged into a group if they are not having a closed conversation and ask if you can join them. Be mindful when you are stepping into someone’s personal space i.e. getting too close. Keep a check of your Body Language and the tone of your voice – demonstrating passion (tempered) for your business and interest in them will leave the right impression. Remember to smile and you will find more people are more likely to speak to you. How many times has someone got too close to you at an event? Especially those with bad breath or have rushed to the event and are sweating heavily. Arrive early and ensure you check your breath beforehand – simple advice but any odour can leave a lasting impression.
9. Building a Professional Reputation – Your approach to others will reflect back on you and your business. First impressions really count! Some people I have met over the years don’t have a good reputation (at business networking events and in general) and I would therefore be polite and move on quickly. You will often meet your competition at Business Networking events and I would always recommend build strong business relationships with them to discuss opportunities for cross-referring clients. There is an element of risk and I have experienced this through one or two training partners who lacked the intergrity later in the relationship. You need to make the call and test the water without simply dismissing the opportunity. Also consider the use of power groups where you join forces with different companies that are after the same group of clients – great for cross referring your clients where there is no risk to your business.
10. Do network – get the balance right between all forms of networking that work for your business and don’t rely purely on one form of marketing. Do get out and promote the business at business and social events gently without overselling. Do prepare for each event and get a list of the people attending so you can target those people you want to meet in good time. I always smiled when someone told me about a referral they picked up at a Wedding in Ireland for me …. networking is a funny thing.

I hope you find these tips helpful.

For details of our scheduled and in-company Business Networking Skills Training please click here

Are you running a business from Home? Some helpful tips …

Starting a new business at home or keeping your home business afloat in the current financial climate can be a real challenge. Not mentioning the distractions and the temptations to procrastinate rather than do those important and urgent jobs in your business.

Here are just a few suggestions to keep you focused and motivated:

1. Ensure you prepare a to do list to keep you focused on those urgent and important jobs – day, week, month and year.
2. Agree ground rules with your family, partners, etc at home so they appreciate the importance of you not being disturb every five minutes.
3. Ensure you take breaks for lunch, coffee, etc ideally with someone else to allow you time to get away from the PC and to discuss some of the challenges and successes. Sometimes another point of view will give you a fresh outlook on your problem(s) you are facing.
4. Be flexible with your hours to enable you to work more effectively in the business whilst balancing quality time with your friends and family – one of the reasons for working at home could have been to get quality time with your family and friends. What are you doing to ensure you have a great work / life balance?
5. Get out more - ensure you attend business events and training courses where you will meet other people in business and to help you to build your network of contacts and skills in business.
6. Maximise the use of the internet and social media to promote you and the business.
7. Consider what you can do during the day that you didn’t have time to do previously e.g. keeping fit, enjoying a hobby and allowing yourself more time with your family and friends.
8. Get a life - don’t spend your whole life in the business. Ensure you plan time for your family and don’t work crazy hours week in and week out. Always consider the impact on your family, your health, etc.
9. Outsource support like phones and admin to Virtually PA’s. Keep working strategically rather than spending too much time working in the business.
10. Most of all enjoy working from Home and recognise what actions you need to take to maintain the status quo or advance the business to the next level.

Working from home can be one of the best decisions you will ever make however you need to ensure you keep focused and motivated to maintain a great work / life balance.

Why do Appraisals fail?

  1. No clear standards of performance and expectations are unclear
  2. Staff are set up to fail by agreeing to objectives that are not SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound – there are a number of variances on these)
  3. Heavy handed policing of objectives
  4. Bias, prejudice, stereo typing and / or fears of confrontation are evident in the Appraisal
  5. Use of negative language (inc Body Langauage) and the use of poor feedback
  6. The Appraiser uses the opportunity to address Performance issues not raised previously
  7. No ongoing record keeping to support preparation on both sides for the appraisal
  8. Appraisals are seen as a tick in the box exercise to complete the forms
  9. No link to the Business Plan and the key priorities of the Business
  10. Nothing is followed up after the Appraisal
  11. Seen as an annual process and no mini-reviews are done throughout the year

Can you think of more examples?If you would like to know more about Appraiser and Appraisee training then click on the website page link below for more information:http://www.ripleytraining.co.uk/training-courses/leadership-management/Performance-Appraisal-Objective-Setting-Skills.htm

Cash is the lifeblood of any business

As the economic strains and stresses of the past 18 months show little sign of abating never has there been more need to understand the finances of your business. Maintaining a healthy cashflow is paramount to surviving in these turbulent times. Do you have all the bases covered?

With margins being squeezed ever tighter what improvements can you make to the profitability of your business? Is there something you can do to put a few extra percentage points onto your bottom line?

Our Finance for Non Finance Managers Course is a practical and interactive course designed to help business owners who have little knowledge of financial management. The course aims to inform and educate delegates how to get to grips with the basics and then encourages them to apply it to their own business. The course is run by an experienced financial director who has worked for manufacturing retail and service sector companies and who currently works for a number of SME companies on a consultancy basis.   Click on the link for more information http://www.ripleytraining.co.uk/training-courses/business-finance-it-systems/finance-training-non-financial.htm

In addition we are also offering places on their Effective Credit Control Skills to help you get money in quicker – click on the link for more information http://www.ripleytraining.co.uk/training-courses/business-finance-it-systems/Effective-Credit-Control-Skills-Training.htm