- 7. November 2018
- Posted by: Andreas Janisch
- Category: Sourcing
When looking for new suppliers or customers, speed dating is a very effective way to meet new business partners.
How do B2B supplier speed datings work?
Generally, speeddatings of suppliers are organised by interest groups such as chambers of commerce, clusters or regional networks. Often a very homogeneous target group is addressed in order to deal with a specific topic (e.g: suppliers of steel constructions or purchase of stainless steel components). The organisers try to find as many interesting partners as possible and draw up a schedule in advance. The discussions can either be planned individually or the organizer positions the discussion partners spatially so that always other persons sit opposite each other (e.g. a long row of tables: suppliers of steel components sit on one side, buyers of mechanical engineering companies sit on the other).
Now, after a fixed interval, which usually lasts 5 to 20 minutes, the suppliers are changed until they have spoken to all buyers.
Advantages of B2B Supplier Speeddatings
Low travel expenses
Buyers can meet multiple suppliers on a B2B speed dating without much travel effort.
The short time intervals force the conversation partners to get to the point. Often, out of courtesy, one does not want to end a conversation prematurely and gives the supplier the opportunity to present his products, although it is already foreseeable that the supplier simply does not fit. The short intervals during speed dating resolve such situations in an uncomplicated way. If you still need to talk, you can contact the supplier later anyway.
Even if you can’t find what you’re looking for directly, a contact can still prove very useful later on.
Tips for B2B Speeddatings
1. Be polite and interested
Give your counterpart the opportunity to introduce himself and do not signal disinterest. Even if you don’t think that the conversation will lead to anything, you should never underestimate which networks the other person might have. Maybe this speed dating contact will give you the decisive tip.
2. Be prepared
Of course you should have business cards and the most important brochures handy. However, as time is short, you should prepare yourself even better in order to have more time to listen during the conversation. Prepare notes in advance so that you only have to fill in the most important data. You should not only ask for basic data on the supplier or the conversation partner during the conversation.
3. Make clean notes
At the latest after the third interlocutor it becomes difficult to remember details. Who was the supplier from Poland with its own galvanizing plant again? Without clean notes you will not be able to process all the information you receive during speed dating. Laptops or smartphones distract and seem impolite to many people, the good old notepad is better.
Unfortunately, photos on business cards have not been accepted. Everyone knows this situation, only one week after such an event or a trade fair, hardly anyone can remember all the faces to the many business cards. So it’s best to network right after speeddating on networks like Linkedin or Xing. This will also give you a picture of the person and will keep you in mind.
5. Fast post-processing
Use the first days after the supplier speed dating right away for post-processing. Your conversation partners can still remember you well, but after a few days or weeks hardly anyone knows exactly what was talked about.