Dreamforce is one of the biggest events of the year in sales. It can be a huge driver of accelerating deals and building pipeline for the upcoming year, especially when done right. Here are 10 tips that have helped me get the most out of Dreamforce over the past few years.
Set Goals Ahead Of Time
What is the main reason you are attending Dreamforce? Are you working your company’s booth on the floor or are you representing your company? Are you looking to fill your pipeline for 2018 or accelerate deals for 2017?
For me I’m looking to do three things:
- Introduce people to my new hire, Morgan Ingram
- Increase awareness of my Driving to Close program being online
- Get pre-orders for my Sales Journal on Kickstarter
Practice Your Attention Grabbers Before You Attend
Attention grabbers are short introductions designed to get your prospect’s attention. When I attend Dreamforce and and someone asks me what I do I don’t say my typical elevator pitch. I focus on getting their attention and say something like “I train Salesforce how to sell.” The response I’m looking for is “tell me more” or “how do you do that?” I find attention grabbers much more effective than elevator pitches. Practice your attention grabbers before Dreamforce or a major conference at local networking events. Read people’s body language to see what really resonates with them.
Go In With A Plan
Dreamforce is a multi-day event. If you can, segment everything by day. One day connecting and networking, one day visiting the floor, one day attending sessions. Take a look at the floor map and find out which companies and booths you want to attend, as well as which sessions you’ll be going to. If you don’t go in with a plan, it is way too easy to spend the whole time wandering the floor aimlessly looking at things that aren’t relevant to you or your company.
Review My Guide To Networking At Events
If you haven’t read my free Guide to Networking Events go read it now. I had one person who was admittedly very introverted tell me it helped them get 400 meetings out of one event! I have a hard time believing it really drove 400 meetings but regardless, it definitely helped him and I know it will help you.
Develop A Hit List Of Who You Want To Meet With
I make a spreadsheet with everyone I want to meet up with and their critical information including their company, name, email, cell phone and any notes or talking points that are important. I also score them as tier 1,2,3s. For my tier 1s I even grab a profile picture from their LinkedIn or Twitter profiles. This way I know what they look like when I run into them.
Even with the Salesforce and LinkedIn mobile apps, I still make this a spreadsheet and print it out. With so many people in one place, wireless and cell service can be limited.
Bonus Nugget: Want to meet up with me? Enter the contest below for your chance to win 30 minutes with me and Morgan J. Ingram and to stay up-to-date on my Dreamforce whereabouts.
Connect On Social Ahead Of Time And During Events
Follow the hashtags, like #dreamforce2017 on Instagram and Twitter, especially for the events and sessions you’re attending. This is a great opportunity to set up an in-person meeting at Dreamforce.
Use Dreamforce To Move Deals Forward, Even If You Aren’t There Yourself
Use Dreamforce as a compelling event to connect with your prospects. “I was wondering if you were headed to Dreamforce?” is a great reason for your call. Even if you aren’t going, you can introduce them to someone on your team who is. Even if this isn’t doable, having a meaningful conversation about Dreamforce with your prospects can help you align your solution to their priorities.
Have 2 – 3 Qualifying Questions Prepared Ahead Of Time
With so much going on, most people will just be looking, but there are many real prospects. The key is to have two or three qualifying questions ready to go. If they are a qualified prospect, I look to close them out for the next step. Remember, you are selling time. You aren’t going to sell your solution in a few minutes, but you can sell the next meeting with access to power.
Know What You Need To Be Closing
Closing happens throughout the sales process. You aren’t going to be closing deals on the spot. Make sure to know what you are closing. If you are filling your pipeline for the upcoming year, close for something like a more detailed meeting or a defined next step . If you’re looking to advance deals in your pipeline, know what you need to close for whether it is access to power or a signed contract, know what it is you need to be closing.
Make sure you stay charged and I mean that about yourself and your electronics. As for yourself, Dreamforce is non-stop from morning all the way through the night and into the next morning with the parties and everything else. It’s easy to get worn out. Take plenty of breaks, find at least one or two days where the morning sessions aren’t that important so you can sleep in, don’t plan on going to a party every night, and make sure you prioritize the events and activities.
Also, since there is a strong likelihood you’ll be relying on your phone or tablet for most of your information and communication – BRING EXTRA BATTERIES FOR EVERYTHING!!! There are charging stations around Dreamforce (which actually are a good place to do some easy networking) but you don’t want to be stuck between events and then have your battery die right before you have to meet with a prospect or go to an event. If you’re hitting Dreamforce the way I do, your phone battery will be dead by lunch. I even bring an extra battery for my laptop. Wifi can be spotty, especially inside during the keynotes when everyone is trying to post online. Bring a hot spot just in case.
If you’re not going to Dreamforce and want to see what it’s like then follow me and Morgan on Instagram and Snapchat in the contest below for your chance to win some swag and 30 minutes with us.