Sales Tip: Event Preparation

Sales Tip: Event Preparation

Published on

Mark Shonka

Mark Shonka Mark Shonka

As we begin a new calendar year, many of us are looking ahead to some important events such as industry shows, trade conferences, educational forums, supplier events, and more. For many, these events are reasons for excitement; they provide great opportunities for networking and personal/professional development. For others, it is easy to have a “been there, done that” attitude as they may have gone to these events many times in the past (and may be less-than-excited to be going back again).

In any case, if we are going to the event, we might as well make the most of the opportunity. One way to do this is to identify other people who are attending that we would like to meet with – customers, prospects, distributors, partners, industry experts, etc. How do we identify who will be there? Often the event organizers will publish a list of attendees ahead of time.

Once we have the list and have identified who we would like to meet with, there are a few things we can do:

  • If the person is a speaker or presenter, sign up to attend their session and stick around to introduce yourself and ask some relevant questions to build rapport and trust.
  • If you are a speaker/presenter, reach out to specific individuals and invite them to your session (assuming you think the topic would resonate with them).
  • If the person is an event participant and someone you would like to meet, reach out (via email or LinkedIn) and request a brief meeting during the conference. These events typically have networking opportunities built into the agenda, so take advantage of them. For many people, it is too easy to spend the entire time with your own teammates and people you already know. 

Note – if you are reaching out to someone you do not know, to increase your odds of getting a “yes”, be sure to let them know that you would like to do some homework on them, their business, or their perspective on a topic… That will be more compelling to them than hearing a sales pitch!

If you are attending the event, you might as well get the most value possible. Planning ahead and requesting opportunities to connect with others will help you maximize the value coming out of the event.

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