And here are some Reason-able tips for effective networking during a conference.
1. Have a conversation. I know easier said than done. Don’t just ask for a business card. I was recently in a conversation with someone at a conference and a guy walked up to us and said, “hello, don’t mean to interrupt but can I have your card.” I’m thinking, what’s the point. What are you gonna say when you email us… you didn’t make an impression when you had a chance. Which leads to my next tip.
2. Make notes on business cards. When you do follow-up and reach out post-conference, you should be able to point to something unique about your conversation
3. Your Approach. Most people can breeze through the ‘About Us’ section of their website without taking a breath. While that’s cool and all, you can add more value by describing your business in one sentence and then speaking to your unique approach. We all have big names on our client list so differentiate yourself by speaking to your unique approach to solving marketing challenges.
4. Can we work together? After explaining what you do, you might as well force the issue. Ask about current projects they’re working on and inquire about process for new vendors.
5. 2 ears, 1 mouth. At conferences, you should be listening, twice as much as talking. Why… because you’re prospecting. You can create a proposal in a few days after you’ve gained some insight into your prospective clients needs.
6. Table lean. If you’re not the type to introduce yourself when you arrive at a table then do the old ‘lean with it, rock wit it’ move where you tell the people sitting to your left and right that you can’t see their name tag. Then introduce yourself and find out what they do.
7. Shrug off the cold shoulder. This is my last piece of advice. Some folks may just not be into what you’re talking about. It’s all good… just move on.