I have started going to the local Chamber of Commerce events and Builders Association events in preparation for me buying the company I work at in about a 18 months. I'm trying to get people to associate me with the company, and pick up new business accounts. Problem is I'm a bit on the shy side and have a REALLY hard time talking to random strangers in a setting like that. I need some tips.....
First of all, good luck! As an entrepreneur, I have exactly the same problem.
THe answer is really simple. Instead of telling people about your business, be in the business of solving problems. If you hear someone saying that they need to do something, find a way to solve the problem for them.
For example, you overhear a businessperson saying how hard (and expensive) it is to find someone to make their new logo.
Tell them that you can send a few options that you've used before that are great, and get their email or phone number so you can call them later in the week with the information.
You've solved a problem and you end up not looking like one of those duo***bags that go around handing out their business cards willy-nilly.
Now, you earned a relationship with that other person who has a specific skill. They've also benefitted from your information that you sent to them, and they know that you're in a specific business.
It's important to tell others about who you know and how that person/business can help them. Be a source of knowledge and help, not someone who just boosts their business at the slightest turn. By doing this you become a valuable member of your Chamber of Commerce that people will seek out. Because you get stuff done (tm).
Thanks! That's very helpful.