It's you. Showing up.
Many opportunities come from attending events, talking with people, participating actively, taking the time to talk with people about their projects. There is no social network that can replace the touch of a human hand. The best sales professionals know that.
I have learned watching some of the best at work.
They are not selling at all. They are listening -- present, professional, connective. Which is one of the reasons why connections happen in real life.
Is events attendance one of your networking habits? It should be. For years, I attended every single event happening in my city, as well as major professional conferences. I still do as many as I can. Often on my own dime, using vacation days to make sure I am wholly present to the people in the room.
That's how I attended SxSW for three years in a row, and finally got to speak there this year by submitting a strong proposal. It would have not happened had I not spent time learning about what is discussed in the hallways in years past.
Fresh back from Confab2011, I also have some top level advice on attitude when attending events. Kristina Halvorson set the tone with her opening keynote. Her advice was very simple and can be summarized into one bullet:
- your experience of the event depends on you, just like life
I'm sure you've been to events where people were complaining about the speakers, or the room, or the food, or the content. Because they knew more, different, better, etc. The whole point of getting out there is to learn to have an intelligent conversation about information, observations, and experience.
You get those and more when you open up to listening and asking.
My favorite question? Tell me more...
Because I know we're all watching our figures when it comes to spending, I worked with a couple of upcoming conferences I'm attending to pass on discounts to you.
ReadWriteWeb 2WAY Summit
ReadWriteWeb is holding a 2WAY Summit at Columbia University in NYC. Since I will be attending as media, they offered a deeply discounted rate for this community. If you register to attend, my code will take $300 off the full price ($795) ticket, making the total $495.
Here are the details:
WHAT: $300 off the full price of the 2Way Summit, June 13-14
WHERE TO REGISTER: use this link (you will get the discount when you register)
PROGRAM: TheReadWriteWeb 2Way Summit (check out the speaker line-up!)
Vocus User Conference
Vocus have been getting a ton of inquiries from non-Vocus customers about attending the Vocus Users Conference in June. A testimony to the strong program the team pulled together, and maybe the widget I posted here helped.
Because of the demand, Vocus decided to create a special “Followers Promotion” that allows me to open up the conference to this community. This is the first time they have opened the conference to the industry. For the past 10 years it has been exclusive to Vocus Users only.
The promotion gives me the opportunity to offer you a $100 off the conference entry fee through a special coupon code, with a limit of 20 guests per speaker. The promotion will be delivered on a first come, first served basis. Once the 20 spots are filled using my coupon code, registration for you will be closed.
Here are the details:
WHAT: $100 off the 2011 Vocus Conference, June 16-17
LIMIT: First 20 registrants, per speaker
COUPON CODE: MALTONI (you can enter this in at registration to get the discount)
WHERE TO REGISTER: http://www.vocus.com/uc2011/ (check out the speaker line-up!)