MATCHMAKING: THE PERFECT MEETING
Matchmaking involves face-to-face meetings between interested parties and such as government institutions or agencies and small businesses or contractors. Business matchmaking is a form of “speed dating” in the business world. The latter is true since during the meetings the small businesses have a short exposure time to sell ideas to government tendering officers.
We may live in a hyper-connected world, but research has shown that successful connections depend on face-to-face meetings. Business matchmaking is more popular than ever before but productive meetings do not happen by accident. In fact, 80% of the meeting’s success depends on the preparation beforehand. However, what if you are not a dedicated event organizer, and you have limited time, money and experience? How can you ensure that business matchmaking is done easily and properly? In this day and age, there are services that make it easy for the small business to set up these meetings. There are a few tips that can be followed by making sure a perfect meeting is established.
Before the meeting
When preparing for matchmaking meetings certain aspects must be taken into account, for example, all matchmaking meetings are always registered on a first come first serve basis. Research on the various agencies should be done prior to the meeting to ensure that small business owners understand what is required, scrutinizing the websites will provide vital information on what is required and what is not required. Prepare a line card that shows the company’s qualification and unique product service. Other information includes the company’s niche.
Step two involves scheduling of the meeting, however, scheduling follows registration. Another important point is that the date of registration also determines to schedule.
In the B2B
Some things to expect from a matchmaking meeting include:
Do not expect to get a contract right away nor will the decision maker be there for the meeting.
Questions fronted by representatives of the small business will be answered. This will also provide an opportunity to know if a product is of any value to the agency.
During the matchmaking meeting make sure you are well prepared, write down the questions to ask. Make sure you are accompanied by a knowledgeable person on matters of operation of the company, this is important when the procurement officer asks questions. Strive to sell your company, offer your business card or a brochure with all the relevant information. Spend enough time describing your product and what is unique about it, include certifications if they are available.
Try to listen what they are offering to you, you need to know what the other need.
After a matchmaking meeting
It is essential to create a relationship, this is because the agency will not come knocking at your door; be proactive. Having an advance follow up plan is great, make sure to follow the plan to the letter. The best thing to do is getting to know the right people, the people who are the game changers. Being persistent and patient at this point pays.
Matchmaking is essential and beneficial to small companies looking to work with the government. Once these companies land contracts the resulting benefits are immense in terms economic growth and international trade. For example, if company X lands a contract to supply product Z, it may choose to Import product Z from a neighboring country Y thereby stimulating trade between the two countries.