the past few years, since I began using this weekly blog to share stories about
sales and sales management, I have been receiving numerous questions from
readers including my own clients. Over the next several months I am going to
use my weekly ramblings to post one reader question with my answer. Please note
– my answers are based on my personal and professional experiences and in no
way reflect my company or specific clients.
Q: How do you choose which networking,
sponsorship opportunities, and other events to attend? Do you have certain
criteria you follow? Do you stay away from specific types of events?
A: Time is a precious commodity. As a
career sales person, I’ve come to learn the hard way that time is all I have.
Time can be my best friend or my enemy. I share this because attending events,
any events related to work, are either a good or bad use of my time. So, to
answer your question, yes I take very specific care of my time and how I choose
to spend my time.
I am not a fan of attending any event
where I am surrounded by other sales people. It happens from time-to-time, but
these are generally not a good use of my time. I don’t want to be sold by other
sales people and they certainly don’t want me to try to sell them something.
Sales people, in many cases, are influencers but not decision makers. I want to
attend events with decision makers. But, these too must be chosen wisely.
I would not attend an industry specific
event if I stood out like a sore thumb. I would, however, attend an awards or
acknowledgement event where decision makers blossom. These may include
recognition events for CFO’s or CIO’s. They may be longevity awards events honoring
companies that have been in business for a long period of time. Events that I
attend and encourage my sales team to attend should offer some reward for being
there. The reward comes in the form of an introduction, a referral, or a piece
of information gained that may bring value to your own company, such as
learning that your competitor just launched a new service. Remember, time is
valuable, so spending time at any event should have some value to you