Attending trade shows and conferences can be a tedious process. For many people, it takes us away from our families, sometimes for a week or more. While our children may think we are traveling to exotic locations, these events translate into long hours walking and talking. While some use it to sell a product or service, these events should be more about developing strategic relationships.

In attending conferences:

  • Know who you want to talk to
  • Know what you want to say
  • Be flexible and don't worry if you don't meet those that you had on your list.
  • Follow up -- Write a personal note to every business card your receive, follow up with a phone call, recall your conversation and suggesting next steps
  • Now make the hard sale
  • Close the deal

Conferences provide an opportunity to expand your network face-to-face and before you start to sell something, it is important to have or to make a connection so then you can develop the trust and later the business.

After all, we all know why we attend these events, to learn about best practices, to spy on the competition and to get in front of the buyers. However, I personally get turned off from those trying to make the "hard sale." I get it you have something you think I can use or need but you should first take the time to see if it is even relevant to what I do or to whom I represent. But first take the time to know me and I will take the time to know you. If I can't use your product or service perhaps I know someone who does, but if you go straight to the sale. Let's be friends first and build the capital in developing relationships that are mutually beneficial.