Archive for the 'Conferences' Category

Five Top Ways to Reconnect with an Old – - old – - – old Client

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

After you “tweet”, “friend”, “link”, email, or mass mail to gently ease into reconnecting with an old client having some canned conversation initiators can make Step 2 – “The Call” much easier.  Here are five tried and true approaches that have worked for the reluctant caller.  When it’s time to pick up the phone and talk to your contact try these words.  Don’t fake it, find one that’s true to you. 

 

1.        “I was pleased to reconnect with you via LinkedIn; it made me realize that we haven’t talked in a while.  How are you?”  (My earlier blog post titled “Bag LinkedIn. . .” may have been a bit harsh because it certainly has a place like here to break the ice with old contacts!) – - if they accepted your invitation to join your network, they are now anticipating your call.  Don’t let them down!

 

2.        “I just reconnected with (person’s name that you both know) and realized that we haven’t talked in a while.  How are things going for you? “– this is a great reason to call lots of contacts from a past client organization who all worked together at one time!

 

3.       “I just read an article on your firm in (publication) and thought of you.  (Elaborate a bit on the article). . . Just wanted to touch base to say hello and see how you were doing.”if you read the business press, you know you have thought about individuals from your past when you read articles about their companies, so it’s something you’ve kept to yourself but now you can share!

 

4.       “I’m going to the (organization) conference in May and was wondering if you planned on attending.  I thought it might be nice to reconnect with you there for dinner.  Do you plan on going?”- This is one of the best because you are being considerate, thoughtful and may end up with an excuse to avoid the rubber chicken dinner! 

 

5.       “I’m considering writing an article on (topic) and thought of you because I knew you would be a great person to give me a valuable perspective on it.  Could I trouble you to arrange a call to get your point of view on (topic)?” For those of you who have thought about publishing an article, this approach is gold because people are flattered that you think of them to give you advice.  You can collect your research, get valuable market insights and reconnect with an old client!

A speaker that knows how to work it. Part 3 of 3

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

If you are not going to follow up with contacts from a conference, don’t go.  You would miss the whole purpose for attending the event!  Upon completion of a presentation a speaker’s goal is to continue the conversation and build stronger relationships.  Speakers can continue the dialog with attendees, clients, prospects and network contacts by: 

 

1.       Following up with attendees who asked specific questions before, during or after their presentation.  (This requires judicious quick note taking on the back of business cards for future reference.)

2.       Contacting clients who attended their presentation to get their thoughts or for a critique on how you did. 

3.       Asking clients and prospects who attended if they had any additional questions regarding the content.

4.       Reaching out to clients or prospects who did NOT attend with relevant materials or information you obtained at a conference that may be of interest. 

5.       Calling and meeting with co-presenters to explore future networking opportunities. 

6.       Publishing the content of your presentation.

 

All of the activities mentioned in this three part series on “A Speaker Who Knows How to Work It” occur outside of the conference.  The conference becomes a means to an end, not the end. 

 

A Speaker Who Knows How to Work It. Part 2 of 3 – The Well Choreographed Dinner

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

 

Speakers gain celebrity status at conferences.  Attendees enjoy conversing with the speakers for their knowledge and point of view.  A consulting client shared with me a successful approach his firm uses to maximize the client development opportunities for their conference speakers.  As soon as they are informed that they are a speaker they begin planning a well choreographed dinner!  First they make a reservation for 8 to 12 people at one of the top restaurants at the conference city.  Secondly, they invite a few close clients who love them and who they know will highly recommend their work.  Then they invite another speaker or two whose topics are popular in the market but whose work does not compete with theirs.  Next, they invite some non-competing prospects who can be considered peers to their clients, appreciating that clients love to exchange war stories with their peers.  And lastly, they make sure that the number of people from their office is not overwhelming to the rest of the group, four people maximum.  You can imagine with this make up for dinner that all attendees have a great time  - – - especially their prospects who are now impressed.  Perfect! 

A Speaker Who Knows How to Work It. Part 1 of 3 – A Speaker’s Pre-Conference Planning

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

As Spring approaches and more promotional materials for upcoming conferences begin arriving in the mail, I’ve heard many clients are assessing if conference attendance is worth the cost – - which today can be significant.  We are a big advocate of preplanning to get the most bang for your buck.  If you are a speaker at the conference you have lots of relationship development opportunities with both clients and prospects that don’t even occur at the conference!   

  1. You can call clients or prospects for their advice and input on your presentation topic. 
  2. You can invite contacts to be panel members for your presentation.
  3. You can personally invite clients and prospects to your presentation, preferably by phone to continue a conversation flow. 
  4. You can ask your contacts if there are other individuals in their organization who would benefit from attending your presentation and invite them too. 

These pre-conference conversations can result in the following benefits:   

It’s a great reason to call lots of your contacts to touch base and up your visibility in the marketplace.

You reinforce your credibility and industry expertise based on the presentation content. 

It reminds people of you and your services oftentimes prompting statements such as, “I’m so glad you called. . . we were thinking about  . . .”

-  Contacts are flattered that you seek their advice and feel good about giving it to you. (nurturing a relationship)

You can prepare a better presentation for your audience with greater knowledge as to leading industry challenges.

The conversation can validate your presentation conclusions leading to increased confidence in your offering.

You expand your network by client referrals to invite others within their organization. 

You may learn more about your client’s or prospect’s specific corporate challenges by asking the age-old question at the end of your conversation, “So how are things with you?” and listening.   

 

 

All of the activities described in this three part series on “A Speaker Who Knows How to Work It” occur outside of the actual conference.  The conference becomes a means to an end, not the end.