In today’s ultra competitive business market, retaining base business as well as new business revenue & selling initiatives steer the ship towards the horizons of growth. And in sales, isn’t growth what it’s all about – both in personal development & your annual contribution to your company?
If you are lucky enough to attend a national sales conference as a participant, you’ll find yourself pressing the pause button on the daily “growth” grind and re-locating for a few days to become immersed in motivational general sessions with cool A/V content, and comparing success stories after the awards gala with your counterparts from another region on the map.
I’ve been fortunate enough to attend several national sales conferences, both as a rookie to a new industry, and as a leading sales contributor on my team. Prior to arrival each year at the conference, I always said to myself – why must I be here? But when it was time to check in at the airport for travel back to reality, I always said to myself – I’m so glad I came! Now you might be thinking, who wants to leave home for a few days and hear others opinions on how you should be prospecting, what additional products you now have to sell, and share a hotel room with one of your counterparts? I once felt the same way, but then realized that I can actually learn more effective ways to excel in my position, meet some great people and actually enjoy my time away!
This checklist will help prepare you for attending your next sales conference, so that you can return to your territory feeling motivated and ready to grow as a sales professional:
Business Cards – Have plenty on hand during your sales conference. During session breaks and nightly networking events, be sure to have plenty of business cards with you so that your new contacts will remember you and vice versa.
Be Engaging – Say hello and introduce yourself to those sitting near you before the event begins. Show interest in others’ backgrounds, both professionally and personally. Don’t spend this valuable time answering emails or texting your spouse, as there will be plenty of time for that at the end of the day.
Be Energetic – This can become a challenge during the last day or so, especially after several days of team activities, role plays, guest speakers, and late night festivities. Stay hydrated and eat plenty of healthy snacks throughout the day to keep your energy levels high. But by all means, steer clear of the temptations to drink too much alcohol at night, as the next day will only feel longer and your peers will notice your sluggish personality and its .07 BAC!
Meet New Contacts – Although it may seem more comfortable to spend your time away getting to know your own sales team, instead sit with new people and branch out to meet others who share the same goals as you! NETWORK!
Take Notes – If you happen to like something that a speaker mentioned, write it down. Or spend some time at the end of each day jotting down what you liked and what you learned. This will help you to better understand the purpose of the conference / meeting, so that you can become more effective in showing value to your clients.
Participate – During team activities, gaming simulations, or training sessions, be interactive and willing to volunteer and participate. These events can be really fun and also promote group bonding amongst your team.
Thank Your Event Planners – Take the opportunity to thank those who planned the event, and tell them what you liked about your time there. Many months are spent planning specific A/V content and team activities to ensure that the attendees have an enjoyable experience. Your feedback can go a long way in improving the agenda of the meetings year after year!
Take Action – Schedule time with your supervisor to discuss your personal takeaways from the event and how you plan to enhance your strategy from what you’ve learned and experienced. This not only shows your commitment to self-improvement, but also your commitment to the success of your organization.
Article written by Brian Spencer