If You’re Not Getting ROI From Conferences, The Problem Is With You, My Dear Introvert
Conferences are not rocket science. They are events where professionals from various backgrounds and companies gather to train, learn, network and generate business. It’s like a crash course of learning subjects that matter in one’s professional life and networking in fifth gear as it would have taken at least a year to connect to let’s say 200 people via various online and offline methods. Here’s how you can make the most out of conferences:
Shine Like The Moon
Don’t be shy. Go ahead and meet the person you want even if he/she is surrounded by other attendees. I read this post somewhere where the two founders of a company from India attended a book launch where Chetan Bhagat (a renowned writer from India) was present.
They were shy but somehow managed to go to him and ask if they can have his book in their bookstore. Chetan asked them “Which bookstore is it?” They answered “Flipkart” – the biggest E-commerce company of India at this moment ahead of even Amazon. Now Bhagat keeps his books exclusively on Flipkart.
Dress To Impress
The way you dress makes a deeper impact at conferences than your sales pitch. Follow the dress code of the event and wear clothes that complement your aura. Clothing is your resume for the event, so it better be impressive.
Ask Intriguing Questions
Usually, after the panel discussions or presentations, there is the Q&A session. Raise your hand. Ask intriguing questions related to the topic so that everyone in the room remembers you. Don’t forget to give your one-line introduction before asking the question. That’s your moment, make the most out of it.
Make sure you ask a question in every session you attend. No conference organizer will stop you. Don’t be obnoxious, or ask long questions that actually sound like an answer or a statement. Be short and simple.
Always Have Business Cards
Nothing is more embarrassing than when a person/potential lead asks for your business card and you don’t have it. You then take out a piece of paper and scribble your email and phone number in handwriting that even doctors/chemists won’t understand.
Ask the organizers how many people are expected and take 50 more cards. If you think your pockets will look funny, carry a small bag of them. You are there to network, do it like a pro.
Meet Anyone And Everyone
The people you meet at the event may not be your potential customer, but the people he/she knows might be your target audience. During the conversation, learn about them and tell them about your company services. Close the conversation asking them to pass the word around. Back at the office, follow up and ask if they can connect you to someone they believe is the right person for you.
Technology is changing so rapidly that it probably changed while you’re reading this article. Don’t believe me? Have you heard of Android Marshmallow? Well if you had then you might also know that Android N is in the making and will be released shortly. The point is, there are some really innovative technologies/services out there that you are completely oblivious about.
Sponsors/exhibitors at various events bring some amazing, high quality and affordable stuff to showcase and you should make a point to visit as many exhibitors and sponsors as you can. If you see value in their products/services, they might equip you with technology that saves you thousands of dollars and generates some unimaginable profits.
Follow Up Until You Drop
The majority of cases get converted after the eighth follow up. Go back to the office, put information from the business cards you collected into the CRM and start following up until the potential client either agree to do business with you or just says no. You can’t leave in between.
So, that’s it. Best of luck at your next event. Go generate some business and don’t commit the mistake of being shy at a place where being shy is not an option.
Dhiraj Dev Phukan is the CEO of Salesgasm, a company that specializes in organizing world-class sales and marketing events across the globe and online. To learn more about Salesgasm, visit www.salesgasm.com.