If you do it right, attending Dreamforce can transform your career, your business, or both. With well over 150,000 people expected to be at this year's event, the networking possibilities are endless. To help get you in the schmoozy spirit, we asked some of our favorite thought leaders their top networking tips. Here’s what they said.
"Think RELATIONSHIPS or Go Broke. Building relationships in the B2B world is no different than in the B2C world. It's always about them, not about you. At such events, the key is getting to know the person beyond the business card. Don't spend the limited valuable time you have talking. Instead just listen. Learn as much as you can. You don't learn anything new if you're the one talking. Listen for like interests, objectives and cues for ways you might be able to help them. And, as it is with any customer, be sure to follow-up, ideally with a handwritten note offering your help and advice without a sales pitch. Think RELATIONSHIPS."
- Bill Quiseng, customer service expert/speaker/blogger
“Make a note of the most quotable phrase from each keynote or roundtable you attend and then use them as conversation openers with people during break times. And remember the more you listen to people's reactions, the more you are likely to learn.”
- Martin Hill-Wilson, customer service, CX & AI engagement strategist and founder of Brainfood.
"Balance the amount that you talk with the amount the other person is talking and ask open-ended questions. If it’s a new connection, ask them what's going on in their business these days and how things have changed. If there’s someone new you’re looking to connect with, do some research on them and their company prior to the event. Did their company release a new research study? Review the results ahead of time and ask questions about it. If they wrote an article on a topic that’s of interest to you, bring it up in conversation. It’s also important to make sure you have a full charge on your phone so you can make connections in real-time. While the majority of people will be passing out business cards, take a more proactive approach and connect with them on LinkedIn on the spot. Once you’ve done this, send them a quick note to keep the conversation going."
- Mike Schultz, president of RAIN Group and world-renowned as a consultant and sales expert
“Don’t expect to have a long meeting with anyone —such as analysts — and forget about trying to give them demos if you aren’t in a booth. A meet and greet with an exchange of cards and a commitment to follow up is a really good outcome. If you’re meeting for the first time, hone your elevator pitch to get the most out of any meeting.”
-Denis Pombriant, principal at Beagle Research
“If there is something of interest to you, follow-up after the show yourself. Don’t wait for the company — they will be buried in hundreds of leads.”
- Bill Butler, CEO of Uptima, a consulting and system integration firm and a Salesforce strategic partner
“Lots of deals are being done, connections are being made and partnerships are taking off. So, if you want to get further entrenched in the Salesforce ecosystem, or begin making inroads into it, find out who’s going to be at what event, and build that into your agenda.”
- Brent Leary, president of consultancy CRM Essentials
Join the conversation
Visit NewVoiceMedia during Dreamforce at the Customer Success Expo. You can find us at booth 1538 on the expo floor in the Moscone Convention Center, as well as at the nearby Marriott Marquis in the Sales Lodge (Booth 14) and Service Lodge (Booth 3). You can also book a one-on-one meeting with us for a more in-depth demonstration of how we can help you have more successful conversations with your customers.
Just a quick walk from the Dreamforce action is the NVM Hub at 431 Tehama Street. Stop by for a chat and a cold beverage, or take a moment to chill on our rooftop patio. We’ll be hosting some exciting events at the hub throughout the week. See what we have planned and RSVP for to reserve your space!