I have a friend, a business owner who attends or at least tries to attend most of the business conferences / conclaves / meet / summit / workshop in the city. I have always wondered at his energy and drive. In this narrow domain, he exemplifies the command in the Bhagawad-Gita : “To work, you have the right, not to the outcome thereof.”
I, on the other side of the spectrum always have a gnawing question : “What will be the result ? The outcome ?” My thinking instead of clearing my confusion, clouds my judgement.
To my readers, I sketch below the thoughts that come while I put my suit and tie and start for the campaign with all the chatter of the mind.
- I ask myself whether in such a crowd, will someone listen to what I am going to say ? What will be the attention span ? Isn’t the campaign more looks like getting a date in a party ? I am a shy person and this is not my area of expertise.
- Then I did see many “repeat” faces and some “conference rats” who nod and then go their own way.
- I have also observed that some have been forced to attend the conference, i.e. they “represent” some entity and it is part of their day-job. Most of them roam listlessly with a vacant expression and wait eagerly for three sessions : Lunch, coffee, cocktail.
- I have also observed a species whom I call “Business Card Hunter” – they gather business cards from all in a sundry with great enthusiasm and alacrity. It has become a habit as I have been asked multiple times by the same person and when I had mentioned that I had already parted with that piece of paper, he apologized and moved away.
- There is another group that I call as “Yes, we can group” – they do not listen to and do not ask anything. They have understood everything before you or anyone has spoken anything and they have “solutions” for the problems. They will ask for a meet later to discuss further but they obstinately refuse to listen to.
- The Evidence Man – Twenty years back, when I was a Federal Government of India Officer, there was always the admonition to keep all receipts and vouchers for claiming TA / DA (Travel Allowance / Dearness Allowance) after the business tour. These were the evidences that you had traveled, stayed, slept, eaten etc. In Conferences, I see many men and women who gather evidence with the same intensity – photos with suitable background, face-book and other social media uploads etc. I do not know but do this incentive or catalyze business ? If yes, how ?
A personal Realization
I was thinking that business is a very intimate affair if we consider the fact that getting a new paying client is extending one’s hand inside the purse of the business, the sanctum sanctorum and extracting its expense as one’s income.
This is no fly-by thing. This process cannot be cultivated in a crowd. This cannot be left to the whims of situation or mood. This must be very very attentive process from both the parties.
One way is to research and design a message that penetrates the very core of the business one is targeting.
Such conferences perhaps provide one with the face, name and some visible ensigns of the tagged target.
Selecting a Target and Penetrating the target are not the same thing.