Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford

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Q&A Week 12 - September 15, 2018

For 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 afterward.

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