Share this page on:
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle BookmarksMyspaceTumblrRedditGoogle ReaderDiggDeliciousBlinkListStumbleUpon

The Art of marketing yourself at the Christmas party

It’s the same every December. The Christmas parties succeed each other and they're not just about eating and drinking, but they also present tremendous opportunities to build future relationships.

Strictly speaking, Christmas parties are not an opportunity to eat and drink for free, but are actually a job function like many others. Only an amateur sees these gatherings as a chance to stuff themselves on behalf of the company and get away from work for a while, while the real pros realize that there are wins to be made for those who keep their heads cool.

First off, some general rules about Christmas parties and behaviors:

1. Before the party
Decide what you need to accomplish even before you go there. Don't let chance waste your time. You should talk to at least five people you don't know and want to get to know. The “Big fish, is he/she there? How will you reach him/her? Create a cunning plan.

2. Show up
Someone has made an effort for you and will appreciate that you attend and might be offended if you don't (even though it's the fifth Xmas bash this week). Although there is a provider that offers people to mingle and have some fun, there are also business opportunities for you. You will meet people who will get to benefit from knowing that you exist.

3. Eat before you party
Make sure you have a decent meal before you arrive at the party. Why? Because then you won't become too focused on eating and avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach (which often makes you forget why you're actually attending).

4. Be moderate and keep cool
If you plan to drink, do so in moderation. In short, be cool. You are not hanging out with your buddies at a beach BBQ - you're attending a work related event where you will be reviewed and judged by your behavior. Pour a light beer in a tall glass and make it look like a much stronger alcoholic beverage if it feels like everyone is drinking and you don't want appear as a Party pooper (it can be that ridiculous at times when you are partying with colleagues). The Christmas party is not the right place to create the rumor that you can drink everyone else under the table.

5. Be on time and leave on time
Don't arrive first and don't be the last one leaving.  

And now a few tips on marketing yourself at the party ...

6. Look for your target-people and listen to them
There are people at the party who you want to work with. It could be a customer, a supplier, a colleague or a boss. Mingle and listen to what they have to say. Ask questions, but don't sell yourself. Don't talk so much about yourself – no matter how tempting it is. You'll talk in two days.

7. Use these questions to make contact and create fun conversation topics:
1. What do you like most about what you do?
2. What is the weirdest or funniest thing that has happened in your industry?
3. Which promotional activity has been the most effective for you?
4. What is your main product now and what will it be in the future?
5. What do people like most about you?
6. What is the most important thing for you right now?
7. What do you think has been the best thing with this party?
8. What new trends have you discovered?
9. What is your ideal customer like?

8. Emergency help when you get stuck with a bore
1. Consider it part of your role to listen (even if it is a customer or your boss.)
2. Try to look for any important information that can be embedded in his/her boring performance.
3. Ask questions. An uninspired chattering can mean that the bore hasn’t particularly inspired himself/herself. Look for some other topics of conversation to make his/her eyes sparkle (see point # 8).

9. Two days after the party
Call your target person and tell him/her that you thought more about what he/she said at the party and that you now have an attractive proposal that you can schedule a time to talk about. Why not during the day?

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.