With less than three weeks until Dreamforce, it’s about time to start making your game plan. Which sessions will be on your agenda? Which parties? Should you bring that extra box of business cards? (Yes.) How about the extra box of Advil? (Definitely yes.)
You’ll want to be as prepared as possible because, if you do it right, Dreamforce can transform your career, your business, or both. With well over 100,000 people expected to attend, the networking possibilities are endless. To help get you in the schmoozy spirit, we asked some our favorite thought leaders their top networking tips. Here’s what they said.
“I like to think of 3-5 conversation-starter questions ahead of time. A few common examples are: ‘Have you attended one of these events before?’ and ‘What brings you to the event today?’ A good question can quickly help you find common ground. It’s also helpful to connect with someone else who knows people at the event. This often leads them to making natural introductions with new people … There’s no sense in prolonging a boring conversation, especially with so many other people to meet! I gracefully look for an exit if I discover there isn’t any common ground or mutual interest with the other person. My favorite move is to tell the other person I don’t want to keep them from meeting other people. It’s an easy and authentic way to end the conversation since we’re both presumably there to meet new people.”
- Jeff Toister, author, consultant, and trainer who helps customer service teams unlock their hidden potential.
“A good conversation starter is to ask what attracted the person to the event. The question quickly leads to the connection between the event and their business. And then you better able to ask targeted questions concerning their work. Their answer may lead to seeing synergy with yours … The biggest annoyance and networking mistake combined is when people begin boasting about the service(s) they have to offer. They then quickly attempt to ‘sell’ me without first learning if it might be a match by getting to know me or inquiring about my work … Above all, being polite and diplomacy work the best. After hearing about the person's work, I will ask for the type of introduction they might like. And then I excuse myself by saying I will keep their preference in mind as I continue to network, and wish them all the best.”
- Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, speaker and author
“Ask what they want most to get out of the event. If they fumble with an answer, ask them about the best session they’ve attended so far and why. Lean in and focus on the person’s eyes to reduce peripheral distractions ... A big mistake is not having a follow-up plan and sharing it with the person you really want to follow up with … When you want to move on, thank them for their time and suggest that there are probably others they want to speak with and I don’t want to monopolize all their time.”
- Kendra Lee, founder of KLA Group, is a sales expert, speaker, author and a business owner who knows how to shorten time to revenue in innovative ways
Don’t forget to include NewVoiceMedia as part of your Dreamforce game plan. Click here to see what we’ll be up to during the big event. Or better yet, book a meeting, so we can give you an in-depth demonstration of how we can help you have more successful conversations.
Hope to see you soon!