10 Tips To Make The Most Out Of Matchmaking

| By James Gleason

Matchmaking can be an intimidating experience. How do you frame your business in the best light? What makes an LGBTBE successful at turning a quick meeting into a years-long professional relationship? While we can't guarantee that an LGBTBE will walk out of a matchmaking experience with a contract or offer for future business, it is a crucial component of initial relationship building and a great way to make a good first impression on a potential future sourcing partner.

Here are ten easy tips to get the most out of your matchmaking experience and position your LGBTBE for success:

1. Do Your Homework.

Before the meeting, visit the corporate website ahead of time and register in their supplier portal, know the industry differences, understand areas of work, potential clients and learn your target audience.

2. Find An Engaging Pitch.

Forget the wordy elevator pitch and be able to convey three to four key points versus a traditional sales pitch. Include quantified value drivers, what makes your organization best, and keep any slides as short as possible.

3. Showcase Your Points Of Difference.

Highlight what your differentiator is other than being a diverse business owner and what makes you different from competitors. Show how you can connect corporations’ needs with your services and provide solutions in a way only you can. Anticipate and come up with ideas that your match may not have considered.

4. Ask Questions.

Come prepared with questions specific to the company’s goals. This is an opportunity to deepen your understanding of how your product can fit into a client’s specific type of work.

5. Be Persistent And Follow Up Respectfully

It’s unlikely you’ll walk away from one matchmaker’s meeting with a contract, so be persistent and respectful in your follow up. These sessions are about building relationships; ask your match about their preferred next step.

6. Collaborate With Other LGBTBEs.

Network with other suppliers and look for opportunities to collaborate and package services for corporations. You can support fellow LGBTBE owners and earn contracts for your business at the same time.

7. Speak To Your Companies' Shared Values.

Check out your corporate matches’ annual report for a greater understanding of the company’s values and the countries they do business in. Explain how your company shares those values and can help the company improve on the goals related to their values.

8. Be Clear And Up Front About Who You Are.

Consider making your business card more memorable and include a capabilities statement, NAICS codes, and any diverse certifications you hold. Make all of the essential information about you is clear and easy to access.

9. Establish Professional Credibility.

Improve professional presentation and ditch the personal email. Consider purchasing a domain name to build name to build credibility when making introductions to stakeholders.

10. Consult with the NGLCC Engagement Center.

Team NGLCC is always available to help. If you're unsure about how to reach out to a corporate partner or how to showcase your business, schedule an appointment with our NGLCC Engagement Center to discuss potential opportunities.