B2B Matchmaking

How to Connect with Prospects at B2B Matchmaking Events

Victoria Rudi
March 8, 2018

Table of Contents

The quality of your B2B dynamics or events isn’t entirely dependent on your planning skills.

Yes, you are responsible for setting up and providing a stress-free experience for your attendees. But the success of your B2B matchmaking activities revolves around your guests’ genuine ability to connect with prospects.

You may design a flawless brokerage event, and ensure the best parameters and highest standards, but that’s only half the work.

The other half relies on your attendees’ networking skills.

This refers particularly to guests who are offering something and want to be connected with people who are searching for those specific services, products, or brands.

To help your attendees take good advantage of the B2B matchmaking dynamic, we’ve decided to put together a quick list of recommendations you can share with them.

To connect with prospects and increase their chances for meaningful business relationships, scheduling meetings during the event isn’t enough.

They’ve got some work to do before even deciding whom they want to meet and engage with during the networking dynamic.

Here are some of the things your guests need to consider if they want to have efficient face-to-face interactions at your event.

Pre-Event Checklist for Attendees

We suggest sending them this article to help them adequately prepare for the dynamic—you can simply copy the text below and drop it into an email.

Know your goals and expectations

Why are you attending the B2B matchmaking event in the first place?

Are you trying to find new investors? Do you want to connect with prospects, generate new leads, and grow your list of potential customers? Or maybe your intention is to find top-notch startups that you could offer your services to?

You can’t attend a brokerage event without understanding your “why.”

Be purposeful about choosing prospects

Define your ideal prospect.

Do you want to meet top decision-makers from large corporations? Or do you want to interact with self-employed professionals?

Make sure you thoroughly evaluate your goals and what you want to achieve. That will help you define your next steps and know how to take the most out of the dynamic.

Understand your strengths and weaknesses

In case you have something to offer while trying to connect with prospects, it’s crucial to know how to best present your strong features. You should also acknowledge your weak points to make sure you’re building an honest, yet powerful narrative around your products, services, or brand.

Define the networking KPIs

Usually, for those who have something to offer, attending B2B matchmaking events or dynamics (whether it’s during a trade show or conference) costs money.

In other words, you’re investing in a form of outbound marketing through which you’ll try to reach a bigger pool of possibilities and connect with prospects.

That’s why it’s crucial to define your KPIs.

Depending on your initial goals, these success indicators can involve the number of interested clients you’ve gained or ensuing deals you’ve closed.

Monitor the results closely, and if necessary, evaluate what needs to be changed in your narrative and approach.

After you decide all these aspects, you’ll have to prepare yourself for interacting with others well before the event. This may include creating a powerful pitch that emphasizes the value of your brand, or setting up a demo version of your product.

How to prepare your pitch for the B2B networking event 

To connect with prospects (especially those interested in products, solutions, offers, etc.), you’ll have to develop a high-quality pitch to deliver the day of the event.

Here’s how you can do it:

Step #1. Focus on the problems you can solve

Although it’s tempting to build a pitch around the services or products you can deliver, don’t do it. This won’t help you connect with prospects.

Instead, define the burning pains your potential leads may have, and build your entire pitch around the ways your brand or product can solve their problems.

Redirect the narrative, tackling the benefits they’ll gain and the improvements they’ll experience through your brand or service. Moreover, you can think about a few immediate wins you can provide by helping them ad-hoc.

Step #2. Consider the time you have for the B2B meetings

Depending on the event parameters, you’ll have to settle for a specific duration of the B2B interaction.

In some cases, this can be as little as 15 minutes; others may be up to 30 minutes (or even more).

It’s your responsibility to build a narrative that respects the time limit.

If not, you may end up delaying other meetings and potentially leaving a bad impression on your prospects.

Don’t forget to set aside enough time during your pre-established time slot (even if you only have fifteen minutes) to introduce yourself, engage in a bit of small talk with your prospect, and leave time for post-pitch questions.

Step #3. Create a specific demo for the brokerage event

If you’re offering a software or a digital solution, in addition to the pitch, prepare a demo to show your prospects. This will give them an up-close look at your product’s value.

Step #4. Rehearse the pitch

Don’t go to a networking event without being 100% ready.

You’ll want to rehearse your pitch several times. Tell a friend or family member to be your “prospect” and ask them for honest feedback on your pitch delivery.

Step #5. Prepare some goodies for your prospects

Whether it’s a bag of coffee from your homeland or even a simple postcard, make sure the people you interacted will leave with a physical takeaway. Usually, these little gifts will help them remember your brand and maybe define their interest in following up with you after the event.

Having a well-prepared and rehearsed pitch is not enough to connect with prospects at B2B matchmaking events.

You also need to take into account a few subtleties during the face-to-face interaction.

Here are some of them:

How to connect with prospects during the networking dynamic

Considering first impressions and the possibility of reading other people’s reactions, networking is an extremely valuable dynamic in terms of efficiency.

To make it work, it’s important to transmit good vibes and know how to communicate with prospects.

Tip 1. Ask what your prospects are looking for

Don’t assume you know what a potential lead needs. Even if someone scheduled a meeting with you during a B2B matchmaking event or dynamic, that doesn’t mean you can just jump right in with your pitch.

After the introductions, make sure to ask the prospect about the problems he or she is facing and what type of solutions he or she is looking for.

Tip 2. Adjust your pitch accordingly

You don’t use the same narrative with every single lead.

If you truly want to connect with prospects, you must realign your pitch according to each prospect’s specific needs and expectations.

Although this may seem a bit overwhelming, especially if you know your pitch by heart, it’s important to personalize it for every person you meet.

Tip 3. Don’t exclude the small talk

Be genuine in your communication. Talk to your prospects about their interests and life outside of work. For example, you could ask about the place (city or country) they’re from, or their general impressions about the event. However, don’t overdo it. Keep it simple and short, but be sincere.

Tip 4. Be respectful and patient

This should go without saying, but just in case, let’s remember this aspect, too.

During a B2B matchmaking event or dynamic, you can meet different types of people. However, it’s your job to stay professional and engage respectfully with every single lead.

Listen patiently to their questions, respond genuinely, and make sure you leave a positive first impression.

Tip 5. Identify common business interests

Let’s be real: There’s no way you’ll be able to convert every single prospect into a client (in case you were hoping or wondering).

However, apart from trying to sell your brand, think about other common business interests you and your leads have. To connect with prospects, you can agree upon simple activities, such as content exchange if you both have business blogs.

This is the moment when you can discuss with your industry stakeholders about things that usually remain unresolved through emails.

Final thoughts

It takes more than flawless planned B2B matchmaking events to connect with prospects. It also takes some social skills and preparation. Don’t just attend the B2B meetings, thinking everything will work out by itself.

Be professional in your preparations, and make sure you have a clear picture of your goals. Good luck!

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Victoria Rudi
Senior Content Specialist
With a Master’s degree in Event Management and a keen follower of SaaS technologies, Victoria is an event content master, producing insightful and valuable for Eventtia’s blog and beyond

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