Networking at Sales Convention is one of the best ways to learn about the latest and greatest in the real estate industry, deepen connections with colleagues and forge new relationships that can lead to referrals once you land back at home. The trick to networking is to strategically plan; think about ways to improve your networking abilities before you step foot on Music City ground. By applying the tried and true suggestions below, not only will you feel more prepared and confident, but you’ll also make the most of your valuable time.
Start networking before you even get to the event. If there are specific people you know you’d like to meet, send them a LinkedIn request, follow their Facebook page or Instagram account and send a friendly hello. Most likely, they’ll write you back and the connection will be made. Better still, once you start posting stories and photos from Sales Convention, they can comment, respond and engage.
Don’t be shy – introduce yourself! Arrive early and sit somewhere that allows you to see who’s coming and going. Turn your cell phone to vibrate and store it somewhere you can’t readily view the screen. When you approach a person you’d like to talk with, smile, offer a friendly handshake and lead with enthusiasm and positivity. Once introductions are made, ask pointed, thoughtful questions to receive pointed, thoughtful responses. Before you part ways, be sure to hand out your business card, exchange email addresses or social media handles and make a commitment to keep in touch with something concrete and defined. For instance, if you discussed the state of home prices in your market, remind your new contact you’ll email a great report about local home prices early next week.
Know what you want to say. Convention attendees are generally short on time and unable to stand around chatting for long. While this might scare novice networkers, it’s actually a good thing! It means you should refine your “elevator pitch” to about 20 seconds and get to the point.
Listen. Listening in networking is just as important—maybe more important—as speaking. A good networker is a good listener who focuses on the conversation and adds meaningful information after digesting what the other person has to say.
Follow up. Once the final note rings out during the Sunshine Kids Benefit, signaling Sales Convention is officially through, your connecting and networking is far from over. Compile all the business cards you collected, social media handles you followed and people you emailed during the event. Commit to reaching out to each one within a week.
Remember networking is a give and take, a careful balance of listening and sharing information others might not otherwise know. Refine your “elevator pitch” weeks before Sales Convention begins and mentally gather all the stories that express who you are and why you’re dedicated to your business. Stories are the currency by which ideas are exchanged. If you can tell a great story and listen to someone’s in return, you’re well on your way to becoming a networking superstar.
Stay tuned for our first-time attendee FAQ, coming soon!