Seawork is on the horizon, just three weeks away, so you need to be crafting your engagement strategy i.e. How are you going to make the most of every opportunity at the show? As we mentioned in our last blog, the main reason for exhibiting is to make business connections, meet contacts, develop relationships, pursue opportunities and, occasionally, to close sales. Here are some thoughts on engagement strategy and how each type of contact could be approached to make the most of the opportunity:

1. To make a contact – smile, introduce yourself and ask what they think of the show. Your desired outcome at this stage is to establish areas of mutual interest. Ask questions; be interested and inquisitive.

2. To meet a connection – you recognise this person but probably don’t know them terribly well so explore an area of common ground. Your desired outcome is to understand the scope of their area of interest and to explore whether you can help them address a specific need or challenge.

3. To develop relationships – people do business with people that they like and trust therefore, relationships are important. The desired outcome is to develop trust in your capabilities and intentions. Be generous with your advice and your network, if you can’t help with a specific need, try and introduce them to someone that can.

4. To pursue an opportunity – Your desired outcome is to move an opportunity on to the next stage. To do this that you are seen as a reliable and trusted problem solver, so focus on discussing and celebrating relevant achievements.

5. To close the sale – Sell on the tangibles and close on the intangibles. Your desired outcome is an order so it is worth remembering the words of Simon Sinek: ‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

6. Be responsive – collect contact details, make a note of what you discussed and send them an email as soon as possible after the show to keep the conversation/momentum going.

Remember, engage your publics appropriately and you will be sure to make Seawork work for your business.