By serious prospect, I don't mean names on an e-mail list, I'm talking about live prospects, people you've talked to on the phone. The biggest problem my clients come to me with when I teach them my Legacy Business Building system is that they aren't booking enough strategy sessions because they don't have enough people to draw from.
When I look at my client list, I realize that 95% of my clients are people I've met in person at events. During the first year of my business I went to over a dozen events. And no, I am not the world's biggest extrovert – I am quite shy.
How does a shy girl build a half million dollar business by going to events? Preparation. I have a system that helps me get the most out of my investment at every event I attend.
Here is a 30 day plan help you get the most out of my Legacy Live event (or any event you choose to attend).
- Register for the Event. Invest in the event at the highest level your budget will allow. If there is an All Access or VIP level – try to spend the extra money. The contacts you make will be priceless. If there is a chance to sponsor the event or to have a table – take it if you can. People will come to you. Also, even if you live in the event city, try to spend at least one night at the event hotel – many of my best partnerships have started by a conversation at dinner or by the hotel pool. (Don't do what I did for my first event – and wait until the very last second to register. I paid thousands of dollars extra. The investment paid off – but I would have saved serious money by registering early).
- Set Event Goals. Why are you investing time and money to attend this event? What are your primary goals? I have a sub-set of clients (usually people who got very good grades in school) who think the main goal of going to an event is to learn the material. Yes, you can learn ideas that will propel your business – but the real benefit to attending an event is being in the same room with hundreds of potential clients. Some possible event goals might be to schedule 10 follow up conversations, or go find partners for your next launch.
- Introduce Yourself. Most events create a Facebook group prior to the event, Go there, join and get active. This is a great strategy if you are shy – you can do some of the awkward ice breaking online.
- Sunday Best. Make sure your web presence is wearing it's Sunday Best. Does your site work? Does it accurately portray what you do? Does your opt-in work? Are people opting in for the right thing?
- Have Something To Offer. Is there a way that you can help people? My first year in business I ran a teleseminar where I interviewed 2 people a month. I offered spots on the schedule primarily to people I talked with at events. People were eager to get back in touch with me because I was offering promotion for them. What can you offer? A teleseminar spot? A podcast? Are you looking for guest bloggers?
- Create Your Opt-In. If you don't have a freebie already – now is the time to create one. You'll feature it on your business cards – so people have an easy way of getting on your list. If you already have an opt-in, double check it to make sure that it up to date and sending your current message.
- Order Your Business Cards. Make sure you have enough business cards for the event. Nothing screams rookie faster than “I don't have a card for you…”
- Be Helpful on the Event Facebook Page. Let people get to know you better. Show them how you can help.
- Make a Target List Now that you've spent some time in the Facebook group for the event – make a list of the people who you want to talk to. For extra credit, you can take this one step further – and reach out to them now. Ask them to have lunch with you, or to grab dinner after the event.
- Clear Space on Your Calendar – Clear out some blocks of time for follow up calls. Buy a paper calendar and block out times that aren't available. You'll use this to make appointments at the event.
- Keep Finding Ways to Engage with Participants – Be active in the pre-event group. People will remember you at the event.
- Pack Your Bag! Make sure you have your business cards – and calendar for making follow up appointments. If you are scheduling teleseminar or podcast guests, have the schedule available so people can sign up right then and there.
- Register and Get Your Nametag Early. Sometimes there will be a group of participants eating dinner or by the pool, your nametag lets them know you are part of the group.
- Set Goals If you are an introvert and attending mixers is painful for you – set goals. Go back to the list of people you want to meet – how many people do you need to talk to each break to get through your list?
- Get People Into Your Follow Up Sequence Right Away. After each break, get back to your computer and deliver on your promises. Do they want to be added to your list? Add them. Did you promise to send them something? Make an introduction? Try to get that done before you leave.
- FOLLOW UP The true secret to succeeding at an event is to be sure to follow up. The easiest way is to schedule your next steps during the event.
What are your favorite event success secrets?