Well, it has now been two weeks since the last Affiliate Summit and it has become increasingly evident to me that most just don’t get it. My aim is not to come across as a hater or disgruntled – but it continues to amaze me how companies continue to attend these shows but as it comes to follow up or closing a deal – they have a LOT to learn.
A case in point – I came across this company that specialized in Custom Installer and Toolbar Software and definitely seemed there were some synergies for us to do some serious business. Wouldn’t you know it – on my ride back to DC, I sent a detailed email summarizing our meeting, discussed our synergies and possible next steps. We do fairly well in this vertical so one would think they would be eager to respond….NOT. I don’t know if it was my cologne, my knowledge (or lack thereof about the vertical) or what but two weeks later and still no response. I am fairly certain there is no race/discrimination issue as that was an INDIAN owned company. Oh well!!
Do you come across anything like this at the shows? If so – share your comments below will ya?
I can go on and on about other follow up fail examples but I would like to provide some quick pointers on how best to take advantage and work the next conference.
1) WHAT’S IN A NAME: Take the time to look at a person’s name tag and who they are with. Connect that with their face and take notes on point of discussion on the business card. And to those of you attending – please wear the name tag with the name showing, kind of defeats the purpose of going to the “trade show” in the first place don’t you think?
2) PITCH THIS: Have a 60 second elevator pitch prepared about your company so you do not ramble on and on pointlessly. If there is not a fit – have the common courtesy to let them know so you do not waste their time and they yours. This may be hard when you are talking to some hired guns/talent/booth babes – but we are all grownups. Move on.
3) DON’T CALL ME, I WILL CALL YOU: This is a personal favorite of mine – when you are talking to someone, please have the decency to turn off your cell or put it on vibrate. Nothing says “I would love to do business with you” when you ask the person to hold so you can answer your phone from your best bud at the bar.
4) HAVE FUN: People are attracted to other people enjoying themselves. A little sense of humor will go a long way to help break the ice and will help others remember you a lot quicker. Don’t be surprised if you see me dressed in my Elvis suit at the next show shaking my turban! Why thank you – thank you very much.
5) FOLLOW UP: Follow up. Follow up. Follow up. This is THE most critically important step of attending a conference and making new contacts – so you can conduct new BUSINESS. I know you are extremely busy because you have a thousand cards to follow up on and by the time you get back to me it may be a few weeks and even then it will take your secretary another week to coordinate a time for us to talk because we know your schedule is booked solid every moment of the day that you barely have a chance to breathe – I get that. Again – NOT. You have time to do 10 FB updates an hour; you have time to talk to me. You have time to Tweet how much you got wasted the night before – you have time to talk to me. I think you get my point.
I personally use what they refer to as the TAP method. Be TIMELY, APPROPRIATE and PERSISTENT. Trust me – it pays off. Also – there is a new App from Linkedin , called Card Munch which is absolutely amazing at helping you upload and sort your contacts. I approve this App.
Did you find these tips helpful? Let me know below….thank you, thank you very much!