Q. Dear Zenagos,
I’m never quite sure what to do at conferences or places where there are a lot of people to talk to. They could all be prospects for me! How do I go about capturing these leads?
A conference can feel overwhelming for a small business owner. You may feel considerable pressure to sell well, which can cause anxiety, making your behavior even more awkward. Take a deep breath, and then make a plan.
Win the conference before it starts
The key to making the most of a conference is preparation. Don’t just go and expect to be charming. Do everything you can before the conference to set yourself up to win.
Research the Conference List
If your conference sends out a list of attendees in advance, that is pure gold. It is a list of potential leads that you can research in advance. Set aside several hours to go through the list. Learn who is going to be at the conference. Look up the company website and learn what they do. Think of a couple of questions you can ask to strike up a conversation.
Set Up Meetings at the Conference
If you think the company may be a potential customer, try to contact the attendee in advance to set up a brief meeting at the event. Even if you don’t get a response, your message will put your name in their heads in case you do get a chance to connect at the conference.
Have Some Meeting Times Prepared
When you talk to someone at the conference, don’t try to make your whole pitch right then. People generally have brief conversations at a conference. Your goal should be to set up a more relaxed conversation later. To facilitate this, have some meeting times prepared in advance. For example, you can say, “I have time to talk on Tuesday from 3-5pm or Friday from 9-11am.” If you have a time in mind, this makes it more likely that you can set up a time on the spot.
Always Follow Up
The goal of each sales meeting is to get to the next step. So, don’t leave a meeting until you have defined a next step, and it has been put on everyone’s calendar. A common misconception about sales is that the best salesperson is the one who is the most persuasive – the best talker. Often, the most effective salespeople are the ones who follow up quickly and effectively.
Related Blog Posts
Zenagos Expert Sales Tip: People Buy from People they Like
Zenagos Expert Sales Tip: How to State the Price
Zenagos Expert Sales Tip: How to Ask for the Sale
What lessons can you take away from selling cars?