How to Network Like a Pro at Conferences

BY Jessica Helinski
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It’s conference season, and there are some great opportunities for sales reps to learn, grow, and network at these events. Unfortunately, there will also be some frustrating moments. In a recent post on the Sandler Training blog, Dave Mattson highlights five common frustrations. Below are two that he discusses:

I didn’t learn anything in that session.”

Some speakers excel at relaying large amounts of information. Others, not so much. This is the time to take advantage of a Q&A panel or post-​presentation discussion. “Asking a specific question and providing a concrete example of what you’re looking for can help you get more detailed and helpful answers,” Mattson explains.

If you are attending a panel session and one speaker is dominating the conversation, then you may need to ask a direct and pointed question. When speaking, address the panelist by name to let everyone know that the question is specifically for him or her.

We don’t provide those services so it doesn’t apply to our business.”

Not every presentation is going to directly relate to your business. Don’t let this frustrate you; the visibility and networking you’ll gain from attending is valuable. Use this time to see and be seen by others in the industry, which includes clients and potential prospects.

You can also pick up useful ancillary information that may help you refine your approach or give you a reason to get in touch with specific prospects at a conference that may not seem to be an ideal match right away,” he explains.

Check out Mattson’s entire article to prep for your next conference. If you happen to encounter any of the mentioned frustrations, you’ll be ready to turn them into opportunities. Like he says, “The better prepared you are to hunt for useful insights, information and connections, the more you’ll come away with.”