Networking events offer great potential for attracting new customers and boosting the sales of your retail business. These events show a lot of relevant traffic and participation in these occasions will be strategically rewarding in the long run. However simply making an appearance won’t help your business interests. Here are some top tips that will help you in retail networking in a smart way and reap dividends.
Don’t engage in self absorbed activities
Say you turn up at an event smartly dressed and then sat down in a corner and played games on your smartphone the entire time. Do you think this kind of activity will further your business interests? Don’t engage in self absorbed activities like texting (all the time), listening to music or idly browsing through your smart phone.
Consciously act in an interested way even if you might not be feeling too excited about the event. Remember that you are there to network, talk and build business contacts.
Learn to be a good listener
Ever been the victim of a non-stop monologue from an over jealous sales representative. You must still remember the dazed feeling in your mind after five minutes of hard sales talk! Well take care not to fall in the same trap when you are retail networking for your business. In order to convert potential sales leads into actual customers you have to be receptive to their needs, concerns and demands.
Be a good listener and learn to listen with empathy to people. Ask your prospects about their needs instead of only concentrating on what you have to offer.
Good follow up is the key
Networking for your retail business does not stop after the trade show/exhibition/event is over. In fact this is when the actual action starts. After the event you must have collected a solid database of leads. Now it’s your job to follow up and convert those leads.
The business cards that you have collected are not meant to be stuffed inside some drawer. Call up/ send an email or text them. Just ensure that the line of communication you have established shouldn’t be broken. After all you never know when you might establish a fruitful partnership or stumble upon a source of rich referrals.
Learn about share trading as this is also a good investment.
Establish a lead capturing system
It helps to have a proper database in place which can capture and utilise all the information that you have collected. It’s great if you have an inbuilt CRM tool in your computer. You can then just input the contact info of your sales leads and network sources on your system. If you don’t have time to do this stuff yourself, hire an assistant who can do your data entry for you. Even if you do not have a customer management tool, Microsoft outlook or Excel is a worthy replacement.
Use social media
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are all useful tools for your retail networking business. Learn to utilise the immense potential offered by social networking sites. You can establish successful lines of communication through social media sites provided you know the basics of social media marketing.