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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Working The Back Of The Room

In this LinkedIn, Ning, Social Media reality, succeeding at face to face meetings and group meetings are still very important. On Dick’s Sales Model, I put “Events/Design,” which most people think means talking from the front of the room.

Even though Julie once introduced me as a “loud and frequent speaker,” I get most of my value from group meetings from actively working the audience.

Last week Washington DC Connections had a speed networking event which was unique, because there was no front of the room! I had a structured meeting, for a minute or so, one-on-one, with over a hundred people.

Here’s what I learned.

Come prepared - My two best tools were a name tag and a supply of useful handouts. Nametag, because several people thanked me for having a sign they could read. The handouts were links to information I thought the participants might want.

Introduce to be helped - I learned that if I asked for something in my introduction, my partners were pleased to help. Got right to: “Here’s what I need.”

Offer to help - A little better than half the time I had someone or something that would help the other person. Those were the happiest meetings.

Any spot is a good spot - After a half hour in a loud room, I was hoarse, I stepped out of line to get a break. Outside the hall, I was still in constant, productive meetings, they just weren’t quite as fast as we couldn’t hear the airhorn.

I found opportunities for me, for my friends who weren’t attending, for the promoter hosting the event

What I liked best was the successful people discarded their recitation of who they were and got right to what they could use, which led to immediate transactions. That might be a good lesson for a slower moving meetings, too.

Your thoughts?


  1. I believe being upfront without a hidden agenda is the best formula for success. I have performed pre-sales talks with prospects. Many of them kept their cards close to their chests since many sales people say they are the best to solve their issues. I always pick the biggest issues and try to solve them before moving on.

  2. At start I value the strong handshake and look in the eye. Then listening is very important to understand the need and to be understood so that one is able make the best connections. After all it is a network, the more you support, the more you are supported. A good net with strong links will hold well:)