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How to work the room at events

Whatever your role in sales, you want to fill your pipeline. And there are few better, more effective ways to do that than at events. We know, that’s not exactly a groundbreaking stance. But, recently, we were fortunate enough to have a great time at the Salesforce World Tour in the Capital of Europe: Brussels. 

That’s why we caught up with one of our very own Account Executives, Boudewijn Terstegen, who was at the event in Belgium. We asked him a few questions about Brussels, his experience, and what his advice would be on how to book meetings at events.

Brussels is quite possibly the most European city in Europe, so how did you find both the city and the venue?

Anyone who’s been to Brussels knows that it’s this weird mix of French-style buildings with the European Quarter in the middle of it. There’s something so cool about that mix. I really like it there.

The actual venue was just outside of Brussels in a place called Mechelen. It’s not too far from Antwerp, so we were deep in Flanders. The place itself was nicely laid out , and, importantly, the acoustics were good. If you’re going to have any hope of booking any meetings, you need to have good acoustics so that you and your prospect can actually hear each other. 

The whole thing was also very neatly organized. I’ve been to lots of different events with lots of setups, and, I have to say, this was one of the best.

Read also: Why Oneflow is a contract management platform for everyone

How did you work the room at the event?

Salesforce loves an early bird. I’m not going to call those who attended ‘worms’, but you get the idea. Basically, they asked us to get there and be set up early, before any of the attendees arrived. It creates a better experience for everyone if all of the booths are set up and good-to-go when people start arriving. So, we spent a couple of hours doing that.

Right from when people started arriving, they drifted towards the main stage. That’s where most of the action happens throughout the day, which is great for me! It meant that everyone I wanted to talk to in one place, for the most part. 

But you’ve also got to have some rizz. It gets you a long way at these kinds of events. So, I always never wait. No, that’s not a contradiction. When approaching a prospect, I always say, “Have you read the Salesforce regulations?”. Of course, they haven’t. So, I always follow up with, “You came within a kilometer of me, so you have to talk to me.”

It makes them chuckle and breaks the ice. Everyone enjoys banter, and that more personal approach, rather than just saying, “Oh, you work at Company X, let’s talk.” It’s not only the best icebreaker in my arsenal, but it also means that, even weeks later, prospects still remember who you are when you’re reaching out to them.

What was the highlight of your time in Brussels?

My personal highlight was the road trip from Amsterdam to Brussels with my Dutch colleagues, as well as finally getting to meet the French team in person. 

As for my highlight of the event: the right people were there. It might sound cliche, but it’s so important that the right people are there at any event, people or companies from your ICPs, and, this part’s very important, the decision-makers. If you speak to them first, then that’s half the battle won. Thanks to the one-kilometer rule, people had time to talk. The prospects were also nice and happy to chat, which also helped everything go smoothly.

What was the lowlight of your time in Brussels?

I had to share a dorm room with Ruben Taris. He’s a great salesman, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that. As for the event, I wish I’d had more time with my prospects, but I did make a lot of bookings, so it was still a great day.

Read also: Introverted salespeople: How they can be your secret weapon

What would your advice be to anyone going to these types of events?

If you’re going to go to these sorts of things, you’ve got to be honest with yourself about whether or not you’ll be comfortable there. It’s fine if you’re not. But events aren’t just standing there, you’ve got to get out there, chat to potential customers, and really make you and your company known. Prospects get to know you through your own initiatives, not the other way around.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Yes. I want our CEO (Anders Hamnes) to make me CEB (Chief Events Booker) here at Oneflow.

If you’d like to learn about Oneflow and how our contract management software can take your business from friction to flow, click here to book a meeting with one of our team today. Who knows? You might end up meeting with Boudewijn himself.

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