Saturday, December 20, 2008

What Not to do on a First Date!

Now that I have your undivided attention, lets talk about "Conferences". In the corporate world a conference is the equivalent of a speed dating session. You meet a lot of people, usually the food is good and you have a good time. However, there are a few who make the most of this...just like the times in college when a few lucky jocks ruled roost. That said, now lets talk about a few do's and dont's for a conference:

  • Dress Well: And you are wondering why I say that. Well its simple. There are a lot of conferences where I have seen people simply not dress well enough. People are trying to size you up in a conference. A good suit helps establish credibility. But then, there is no point being an empty suit. Which brings me to the next point.
  • Prepare Well: Don't show up at a conference if you have no meetings fixed. Its a colossal waste of time. Every conference has a published agenda of speakers listed weeks in advance. Make calls, set up discussions and prepare for these meetings. If you are not doing this drill, you are goofing around in a conference.
  • Listen Well: In all conferences, I have been to till date, this theme is common. People want to talk and talk more. Let them do that. Listen well to people around you, and if you are a good listener, you certainly save energy and charm to talk to people who matter.
  • Converse Well: Ask yourself, "How do I end conversations with people who are not suspects?" (aka "possible prospect"). Chances are you drop them like a hot potato, chances are higher that you don't even exchange cards. What about the old adage "People connect People". Be courteous, end conversations well and drop a note later. You never know how things may change.
  • Never Sell: "Do you propose on a first date?" Hopefully you don't. You charm, you thrill and you listen to your date. You don't say "Marry me!!!". Then why do you make a jackass of yourself and pitch "long term relationships" and "commitment" in a conference meeting? Make friends, exchange cards, tell stories and talk a little business. Never Sell! There is a time and place for everything.
I have made friends with some really good people at conferences. Many of them have let to follow on conversations and a few to some business. However, the best gain out of these speed dating sessions is I have become a better story teller and a better judge of people.

Happy Dating!!

8 comments:

Ashwin said...

Hi Uday if i may comment. Brilliantly complied article or blog. It was simply superb the way uve compared a first date to a conference. The title is surely eye grabbing but for me it was more than shocking as i was wondering what it had to do with sales. I liked esp the last para wher u said " do you propose on the first date". It just goes to show how similar is first date to a conference for an understanding sake.

sanjiv said...

Hi Uday,
Being a Bachelor, i was so happy to see this article & was fully ignited to have some value addition in that area.. But it was the wrong delivery which turned the other way round.
I do agree with many of your points but sometimes you need to be a Butcher in the conferences, or else you won't get the chance to deliver. I am talking about negative strategy which works many times in an agressive environment.

In all, an awesum article...
Do read my articles...
http://hai-paisa-kambaqt-paisa.blogspot.com/

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