How can the introduction of new products affect the way I network at meetings?
When I have a new product to launch, I make sure that I have a 20 to 30 second pitch ready for the next networking event I attend. I also make sure that I have a supply of product announcements offering a free sample. As I work through the crowd, I make sure that I am talking to a person that could use my product, by listening carefully to what they have to say, and if the product does not fit I go on to the next conversation.
The important thing to remember is that you should not force your product onto everyone you talk to. You have a job to listen intently to what they have to say and then make a judgment as to the fit of what you have to offer. Sales of new products are not made or broken through networking events, they are simply introduced so that the next time an event occurs and you have product to display, some attendees will be aware of your offering. The best thing is to make sure that you are excited about your product or service, you are an expert in the field, and that you are able to deliver what is promised. All three need to be present while attending an event and making the product introduction. If one item is missing, the product is not likely to be well accepted.
Sometimes a networking event will allow participants to have a display booth. In that case, you should make sure that you have a table or share one and offer tests or trial sizes with feedback forms. It is one thing to give out the product; it is another thing to get feedback on its application. Never give out anything without having a way to contact the potential product user.
Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com