ActiveCo’s 2017 has been an exciting year of transition, especially in how we engage with our clients, vendors and prospective clients. At this point in the planning process, we have decided to host an event for clients and prospects, and made a preliminary list of who to invite. Now, it’s time to strategize that list based on their business market and compatibility with one another (both professionally and personally).
How Well Do You Know Them?
An experienced salesperson or business owner may be able to look at a list of clients and/or prospects and instantly see what connects at least a few of them together. They may simply be in the same industry or vertical. They may both have a similar experience with you as a business partner. They may have never met and there you may see a business opportunity for them both, and you would be the common denominator, further cementing your value to them.
What about on the personal side of things? How well do you know these people simply by viewing their name? Any big sports fans who would get along like gangbusters? Any new parents who would appreciate a night away? A great way to find out some personal details, as creepy as it may sound, is to review their social media pages. Many people are searchable (Google-able?) online via Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and it’s a very simple way to get an idea of how they spend their time outside of work. Their passions and their family are often what you will discover most about, and it’s exciting to make a connection between clients and prospects when you see they are of a similar mind.
Now the Hard Part
Once you have filtered through the list of names, it’s important to re-review, to ensure you are okay with the removals you probably made. Did you take people off the list simply because you found no connection to anyone else, but you know that person is perfect for this event? Do a few rounds of name reviewing before confidently finalizing your list. Remember, you still need to invite these people and you may get some rejections (which is okay). Be sure to have your “back ups” ready.
Having thoughts of “wouldn’t it be great if these two met and talked about football?” isn’t enough. It’s your job, at the event, to ensure all the connections you envisioned actually happen. This is the most mentally taxing part of your evening, playing match-maker. You’ll want to have done your homework beforehand, don’t be shy to have a cheat sheet, as you glide from person to person providing solid introductions. Easy rule of thumb: introduce people with their full name, title, company name, what the company does and one interesting fact about the person. Sound like a lot of work? It is.
The return on your time and emotional investment will shine through as your clients talk you up to prospects as they all, hopefully, make valuable connections while enjoying the event you planned for them.
Do you have events that you host regularly? We are always seeking new, fun ways to entertain prospects and clients. Feel free to reach out and let us know and possibly collaborate!