February 3, 2009

Social gathering as marketing tool

I have always have a short attention span when it comes to meeting client in a formal setting. You are asked to sit at the conference room, CEO's inner sanctum or even corporate offices where you are not in control of the unfolding event at hand. It will be the same if you are hosting people in your own office. Although I have an office which have all the best features to entertain any type of client which also even have a penthouse overlooking Sunway Pyramid, a mall with a view, it doesn't help makes meeting less stuffy.

My personal favourite in first meetings have always been social gatherings as no one has an advantage over the other person. Even if the host is the one you are targetting as your would-be client, there is always a chance for you to disarm him if you know how to. In social gathering, unless there are VIPs who are cordoned off within a certain area, there are always chances for anyone to get to know somebody else within the place.

In Malaysia, there seems to be a few social gatherings for businessmen to mingle around and even there are quite a few where it was not intended for business but is used as such. Open houses, which have now extended to all the cultural and religious events, although it was exclusive for Eid Fitri in the early part, are events which are great to intorduce oneself informally before you go to the office's of those whom you meet to further strengthen the relationship. I know that sometimes it does not work out but nearly 60% of those people whom I meet at such events manage to garner me a few long lasting businesses.

Last week saw me going to one such event as I was asked to attend an event which was intended for the sports club of a client. The event was a film premiere of a local movie. This client is an old client but they are changing it's top management. This was where my partner and I gather information informally on who's who as we were placed one table after the VIP tables and we make a point to introduced ourselves, albeit briefly. Next week, the new CEO of that company will start work and we will also wiggle ourselves to getting an appointment through someone we met at the event.

How's that for throwing two birds with one stone?

1 comment:

Danny Foo said...

Well, I guess to correct word for this would be; networking. ;)

It's great to meet a big potential especially if it's introduced by a friend. You'll have a higher chance through the door than to walk up and introduce yourself.

Nonetheless, if it needs web expertise, bring me in too! :D

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