Events Nov 14, 2016

Digital has revolutionized the way in which we research, meet, transform and develop clients (growth hacking, martech, adtech, brand content, etc.), and even in this day and age there are still in-person events with “real life” meetings. How do you decide which networking events to attend, and what is the best way to prepare for them in order to meet future clients?

Axel Rozenblum, of Dream Catcher Sales, insists on the importance of rigor, discipline and high standards. Without these, in-person events can be disappointing from a sales perspective:
• They can too often be occasions where everyone is speaking, and no one is listening – instead, everyone tries to make their pitch to the greatest number of people. It becomes a numbers game.
• When poorly prepared, you can end up drowning your natural shyness in champagne at the bar instead of making better use of the evening.
• Time is money. Some networking events don’t live up to expectations, so why go?
You need to be organized, strategizing and planning your approach.

 

1. Defining objectives
These should be defined fairly clearly:
• Meet new prospects
• Identify the needs of the targets
• Use informal settings to move forward in the sales cycle (between personal and professional)
• Strengthen connections with prospects
• Promote the company’s brand image through direct recommendations
• Still enjoy a little glass of champagne :-)

 

2. Preparing for networking events: a necessary step

Even though it is common sense to prepare for these events, this is rarely done. However, doing so makes it possible to:
• Save time: gathering information about the people that will be there lets you figure out if they correspond to the target, to show up with an objective, and to have given advance thought to the needs of each of these people
• Connect ahead of time with the targets, particularly on social networks
• Meet right away with people with a precise need, using soft selling – reaching out to the right person at the right time who has the right need
• Decide whether the event is relevant or if there are others which would be more “profitable” or useful

 

3. Apply an organized delivery process

Optimizing your presence at an event (i.e not wasting time) requires applying a precise process, making use of digital tools:
• Source events where the target will be present (Eventbrite)
• Identify the people that will be there (Swapcard)
• Contact potential targets (LinkedIn)
• Identify targets’ needs directly with them, via phone calls or initial contact on LinkedIn
• Schedule meetings during the event (Google calendar)
• Prepare for the meeting the day of
• Organize follow-up with a CRM tool (Pipedrive)
• Keep in mind the “ABC” motto: Always Be Closing!

 

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