A company found me via a Blueprint Show exhibitors search!! I had a meeting with them last week that went pretty decently. Even if you don’t land a sale, you can always learn from the experience, and I think the 2 most important things I learned from this one is this:
1) Read body language
2) Sell them on your work more than on yourself
Truth be told, I’m really only used to interviewing for 9 to 5 jobs, where people want to know who they’re hiring. Your personal elevator pitch needs to be informative and genuine, and doesn’t necessarily have to end throughout the interview just bc you’re showing your work.
Becoming a vendor is different. While you want to make sure you communicate that you’re easy, maybe even fun (!) to work with, peoples’ time is precious and ultimately, they’re looking to buy your work.
Though I didn’t think that one through before I got to the meeting, I was able to shift my talking points by picking up on very subtle facial expressions and body language. For instance, I could tell when it was time to show my work instead of extending my personal introduction. Also, I was able to pick up on the idea that the client needed time to think about purchasing before they even said anything - and took the opportunity to offer that time to them instead of prolonging their discomfort by making them tell me “we’re not sure”.
So I say, sell yourself, but do it quickly and confidently. After all, you want them to want to continue to work with you, but again, their time is limited and they’re more interested in how your work can sell their products. Leave them with fun swag, and tailor your pitch to something that brings the story back to the work itself and how it may benefit to consistently work with your style. If they’re interested in you after you wow them with your designs, they’ll ask.
I’ll update you guys on any next steps with this company! It’s cool to have gotten a bite, even before the show!