Running a successful business in the digital era and generating revenue through various online channels, is sometimes just not enough. Connecting and networking with people face-to-face is still one of the most effective ways to get more sales meetings. This is why attending conferences and business events are of the utmost importance if you are looking to increase revenue for your business.
No matter the vertical your business is in — if you are going to an event as a speaker, exhibitor or just as an attendee, there are certain steps you ought to take in order to get more sales meetings at a business event.
Event Lead Research
First off — research what the event is about. If it’s not the niche that your business is in, then there is not much reason for you to attend it, right? So, make sure you only RSVP for the events that can bring you and your business some value, either by learning about some new trends or connecting with industry experts.
Before going to an actual event, make sure you research who the keynote speakers are, and who are the companies and individuals attending. This is particularly important because if you have something to offer, it would be a good idea to reach out to those you want to connect with at the event, to let them know that you would like to chat, and ask them about their schedules to set up preliminary times for you to connect at the event.
Attendee list on the official conference website: Web Summit
Though this type of information is not easily obtained usually, there are ways to dig that information out. You can use Twitter, search by hashtags and see who is talking about the event on social media. Maybe there is an event created on Facebook so you can see who RSVP’d there, or you can hire an outsourced lead research team to do the research for you. This way, you can save time and focus on preparing for the event.
So you did your research, found and reached out to people that you’d like to connect with… now it’s the time to get yourself well prepared.
Set goals that you’d like to achieve by going to a particular event. If you don’t already have it, make sure you create an elevator pitch for your company so that you can easily convey the message of your company or brand to the people that you meet.
One thing that didn’t go out of fashion, despite the advancement in technology and gadgets, is the business card. Update yours and bring a lot of them to the event. Having a unique and memorable business card can only help you and your company get noticed and stand out from the crowd.
You may think that it’s old school but do it anyway. While you’re at it, why not print a quality, sturdy and heavy card? Better yet, make them out of metal or wood. Stand out from the crowd to be remembered.
You can also prepare some brochures that you can pass out to people interested in learning more about the range of products or services that your business provides or sells.
Schedule More Sales Meetings at Conferences
Get the full revenue benefits of attending conferences and schedule more sales meetings for your business with proper event lead research. Learn More
Attending the Event
Once you are there (armed with all your assets), you should connect, engage and network with people at the event. You never know when the next opportunity for a partnership or cooperation will arise.
Have a positive attitude and smile — people naturally gravitate towards this vibe and you’ll just win them over with your perfectly practiced elevator pitch. Arrange those sales meetings.
The Sales Meeting
Now that you have your sales meeting arranged, what should you do next?
- Ask genuine questions about your prospect, listen and try and build a rapport. Find out crucial information about the prospect. It will give you the ability to determine what value you can offer to them.
- Don’t talk about yourself. Successful sales meetings are all about the prospect — not about you.
- Provide value in exchange for the prospect’s time. Offer some tips, advice, content — anything that helps get them closer to their professional or personal goals.
- If you know the people they are looking to get connected with, make introductions to connect them. People will never forget a valuable introduction.
- You can also offer book recommendations. Buy a book you talked about and send it over to them as a thank you for connecting. That will show them you care about your business associates.
- Take notes. You will be meeting a lot of people, so the last thing you want is to forget who you met and what you talked about.
- Before you part ways make sure you ask your interlocutor if there is anybody else you should meet, and if they can introduce you. This is your opportunity to expand your network with like-minded people who could potentially be customers or partners.
Once the sales meeting is done, aks about the after party — another great place to network and meet people in a more comfortable and informal setting. Ask people you talked to if they know about after-parties, if they are going and if they can get you in. On the other hand, if you know where the people will meet after the conference, share the information with your leads and invite them to join you.
Tip: Always offer value. This builds a genuine personal connection and builds rapport between you and your prospect.
Finishing your sales meeting is only the beginning. It’s always a good idea to follow up with people you connected with.
- Follow up on the same night to make sure he or she remembers you. Send them an informal email saying how excited you were to talk to them in person. Just be honest and genuine — that always works and is the right thing to do.
- Do what you promised them. This is a great opportunity for you to follow up on actions that create value for both you and your prospect. It could be:
- Sending a one-pager about your products and/or services.
- Making an introduction that helps your prospects.
- Providing a recap of what you talked about during your sales meeting. Turn the summary of the things you talked about into an email and send it.
- Anything else that you can think of that is valuable for both parties.
- Add your prospects to your CRM and tag them with the following information:
- where you met your prospect.
- the summary of what you talked about.
- any other important bits of information for your sales team.
- Set a follow-up task for yourself or your team to connect in one week after the sales meeting, just in case they do not get back to you.
- Set a follow-up email to ask if the person is going to the next event in the same series. It could be the same event that takes place next year.
- You can also automate this to save yourself some time.
- Connect on social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn — any popular platform that your prospect is on.
Get Leads from Events You Attend
Seize the advantage of connecting and with people of interest at business meetings to boost your sales. Go through event apps, conference attendee lists, hashtags on Twitter and search Facebook events to generate a list of conference attendees that are relevant to you. Get more sales meetings at a business event to grow your business.