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Don’t let this happen to you….it won’t when you do some planning

It was the seminar coffee break, and we’d just covered the section planning and preparation before going to a business related event. Mark (not his real name) said to me “Will, I wish this course had been on 2 days ago.” “Why?” I asked.

This is a true story told by Mark.

“A message came through my P.A. saying I was invited to an event by a major supplier 7.30pm-9.00pm .Diary free so I said fine.

After work I had some time so I went for a couple of beers. I then headed off but realised I didn’t know exactly where the venue was. It was beginning to get late but I wasn’t too worried thinking there will be enough people there for me just to slip in. After asking the way a couple of times I arrived about 8.15, at this small but exclusive hotel, a touch nervous as it was getting late.

I walked in to find, to my astonishment, that it was a quiet dinner for 4!
The two senior officers of the company were our hosts, one of whom was a knight of the realm.

To say I was now feeling nervous and anxious is an understatement. Had I known what was to happen I would have put my best suit on, had mints in my pocket and even cleaned my shoes! Names were exchanged and I was only able to hear two of the three. I was so overwhelmed I never did find out one of my host’s names.

Topics were covered which went over my head. But I survived…just.”

What are the learning points from this story?

When we go to meetings with clients and prospects we prepare. If we didn’t we’d feel nervous, vulnerable, anxious and exposed…the list goes on.

When you attend business related events you are going to meet potential prospects, maybe existing clients and contacts.

Consider some of these planning points.

• Who’s going to be there
• Doing some research
• Ascertaining the format
• Knowing the timings
• Where it is
• What to wear
• What to talk about
• Ensuring you ask someone to repeat their name when you don’t hear it.

They’ll never say “I told you once; I’m not going to tell you again!”

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