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If you could meet just one person...
Author: Jonathan Hart
Groups: Tribe Stories
Categories: Events | Miscellaneous | Retail News
Dec 30, 2008
We are about to tackle trade show season. It's brutal, the hours long, the conversations repetitive, you tire of regurgitating the same material over and over and over. One thing I want to stress, ask a lot of questions and then practice "golden silence". Tell, tell, tell doesn't matter. What matters is finding out what your potential customer is trying to fix, accomplish, or avoid. Ask the right questions, you'll get the answer.  And then tell them what they need to hear. It works, and it makes the day a lot more enjoyable and ten times more fun.

Now what I actually wanted to post was a piece that Seth Godin had written some time back, but it stuck in my mind as being very relevant at shows. We have the incredible opportunity to meet anyone we want within our industry. So, do it. And here's why:

If you could meet one person...

Think about this for a moment. If a trusted friend could arrange a meeting between you and anyone of your choosing, who would you choose?

Not for entertainment or curiosity or bragging rights, but to help your business. Who could help? Someone who could actually aid your marketing or development...

Years ago, I went to the AOL partner's conference. I'm no runner (unless someone is chasing me) yet I signed up for the early morning run because I knew Steve Case, CEO of AOL, would be running. I ran with him for twenty minutes, almost killed myself. Didn't help. (But I'm glad I met him).

If you're an author, can Jeff Bezos at Amazon help you more than a motivated promotions manager far down the ladder? It's unlikely.

People in charge can rarely help you, because they are rarely (truly) in charge. Billionaires can't help you, either, because they have their defense force fields on full strength during meetings like this. In fact, the person who can help you the most is almost always someone who doesn't appear that powerful on the surface.

Remember, it's not just that they can help you. It's that they want to help you. Famous people qualify in neither category.

So, who is it? Hint, it's not the Wizard of Oz or the Pope or Barack Obama. It's someone not famous, someone who actually makes things happen and someone who actually cares. Think hard... Got it?

Great. Go meet them.

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