Turning business conversations into opportunities
If you are a small business owner, chances are you are a self-starter and have confidence in your business and in yourself. But what if you are an entrepreneur who is less outgoing? How do you get a good conversation started?
Whether you are new to business or expanding, the following tips can help you start meaningful conversations that can lead to business growth.
Get out there — You don't have to attend trade shows or conferences to strike up conversations if you may be more comfortable at smaller events like networking groups. Keep in mind that your prospective contacts will be fewer in number the smaller the event.
Grab people's attention — Have a quick, meaningful story about your business that will capture people's attention. Once you have gone through the necessary introductions, offer up your story. Remember to show interest in what other business owners have to say. They might be looking for new leads and potential partnerships, too.
Gauge the crowd — Before talking about your business make sure that you understand your audience. Don't rely on humour if the crowd seems more serious; don't go into great detail about what you do if you have limited time; listen before speaking is a good approach.
Give and collect information — Get business cards or phone numbers or “friend” people on social media. You and your business will be ready when a potential opportunity presents itself. Make sure that your business website is easily accessible through your social media channels and that all visitors to your website can sign up for email subscriptions.
Through conversations with other entrepreneurs you may be able to get some hints on how you could help them. They could let you know that they:
- Are unhappy with their current provider
- Want to expand, but are missing resources or skills
- Ready to hear what sets you apart from the crowd and need your help
Find a way to align your business with their needs. Be sure that you are able to scale up and keep up with production should you make useful contacts.
No matter what business you are in and your level of comfort with an audience, take the opportunity to dive deeper and turn simple conversations into business opportunities!