Marketing Secret #86 The Truth About Schmoozing
Are you a schmoozer?
Do you go to all kinds of functions to meet people and try to get business? Do you attend Chamber of Commerce meetings and pass out your cards?
That’s schmoozing! (ie. the art of being around potential clients/customers/patients, and trying to drum up support for your cause, and have people come in to see you or to use your services.)
To be honest with you, I have never understood why people would waste so much time and energy trying to meet people one a time.
Let’s say you go to a meeting of some kind and spend two hours talking to people. You will meet other likeminded marketers who will also be passing out their business cards.
Since at any given time, most of the people at these events are not prospects, what makes you think that standing around for a couple of hours is going to get them to become clients/customers/patients?
They will not know anything about you except that you are wearing a nice suit or dress. They will be polite, and you will see them at all the same functions.
The only thing you won’t get is their business.
I worked with a Carpet Salesperson once who insisted on going to all these functions. For over a year, he went. He was a very nice guy, with a great personality, and he was a pretty good salesman. He just never got a single client out of all that earnest schmoozing.
I think that this activity falls squarely in the category of Secret #84, the “Keeping Your Hands Busy” syndrome.
It will give you the illusion of marketing but will not be really anything more than wasting valuable time.
As I said a minute ago, even if you do manage to get somebody, you have taken up tremendous amounts of time to get only one person!
Wouldn’t it be better to use that same amount of time to establish a real marketing plan and implement any number of these proven techniques, which will serve to get lots of clients/customers/patients?
Schmoozing is a typical example of old fashioned, one on one marketing.
In order for you to pay your bills and to make a living in these times, you have to market smart and go for multiple
clients/customers/patients at a time!
If you feel you must schmooze, then keep this formula in mind to open a conversation with a stranger:
Talk about family first. Find out any clues about what is going on with a person’s family that might give you an opening to continue the
Second, talk about what the other person does for a living. Next, talk about their hobbies and sports interests.
Last, try to gauge their income level or concerns they might have that would relate to your business, without being probing or nosy.
Ask lots of questions about them. Put the potential client/ customer ahead of yourself to make them feel like they are the most important person. Find ways to relate to them in the conversation, but instead of talking yourself up, listen. Remember that you are a consultant, not a salesperson. Have some pre-thought-out questions ready, if you are uncomfortable. It will improve this marketing method, if you want to give it a try.
If you insist on schmoozing, please understand that, even if you do get business, it’s going to take a long, long, long time to see any profits.
I’d advise you to use this as a small part of your marketing plan, at most and concentrate on direct response marketing instead!