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Finding Your Match Made in Retail Heaven

April 27, 2015

How does an article titled “Tips for Speed Dating” on relate to an entrepreneur’s pitch to a buyer?

Here’s how – it’s all about the connection felt from across the table.

Whether you’re sitting across the table from the potential date of your dreams or Kroger’s lead buyer of General Merchandise, you'd better deliver in the short amount of time you have, an authentic and convincing case that engages your audience. Know the needs of the person sitting across from you, remember details, and be honest and open about what you can do. Your pitch had better be spot on!

The commonalities between speed dating in the personal and professional world scenarios boil down to how you present yourself, and ultimately what you do and don’t want to do.

So here you go. The do's and don'ts of speed dating for businesses:

  1. Don’t -- open with the usual: Start with something unique about your company or product to grab the buyer’s attention.
  2. Do -- think of some good questions in advance: Your questions should be tailored to finding out (a.) what the buyer is looking for and (b.) how your product can become his or her solution.
  3. Don’t -- elaborate on your weak points: Focus the conversation on what your product and company can offer better than anyone else. When weak areas come up, don’t over explain. Admit you're working on it, give a timeline of solution, and move on.
  4. Do -- evaluate your performance: Set a goal of making each pitch better than the last. Rehearse until you’re comfortable and confident, but don’t over-rehearse and end up sounding like a robot!
  5. Don’t -- leave on a bad note: Not every meeting will lead to an order. When it’s apparent that the relationship is not going anywhere, remain professional, friendly and thank the buyer for the opportunity to meet.

That being said, are you looking for a product matchmaker? Look no further than Global Market Development Center (GMDC) - the inventor of entrepreneur speed dating! For 45 years GMDC has been hosting meetings called Controlled Casual Conferences where suppliers have 10 minutes to sit across the table from retailers, pitch their product and then move on to their next meeting. Because of this unique format, more than 8,000 meetings were hosted between suppliers and retailers at GMDC’s 2014 GM Conference! And just imagine the amount of matches made.

Think that face-to-face speed dating is becoming less popular in today's business world of e-meetings? Think again. For the 2015 GM Conference, more than 11,000 meetings are scheduled!

Find out more about GMDC’s unique Controlled Casual Conference meetings.

Looking to tighten up your pitch before your next meeting with a buyer? Check out GMDC’s “What’s Your Pitch?”