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!
You can call clients or prospects for their advice and input on your presentation topic.
You can invite contacts to be panel members for your presentation.
You can personally invite clients and prospects to your presentation, preferably by phone to continue a conversation flow.
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.