How I met my top prospect in the bathroom line and other tricks to figuring out who’s worth it at Dreamforce

The best way to conceptualize Dreamforce is a Vegas for SaaS. Just like a casino, Moscone Center blasts the A/C to keep it nice and cool. Time is irrelevant and there is no sign of a clock anywhere in the building.

Here are three tips to surviving at a conference, in everyday sales or anytime you’re in a crowd of people:

1. Put down the darn scanner

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Dreamforce felt like an extreme game of laser tag. Free you say? Do you want want a nifty pair of headphones, a water bottle, a little trinket? You’ll have to pay with getting scanned.

I faced two options. I could enjoy the competitive game of laser tag and scan away or spend four whole days networking, building relationships and having meaningful conversations to actually sell.

Thank you John Barrows for this tip. Get cards, take out your phone and set up a meeting right then and there.

2. Don’t let the time wasters suck you in

How long does it take you to figure out if someone is qualified? I surveyed a handful of sales reps and the consensus was about 10 seconds.

Let me take you back to our booth so you can get the gist:

Time waster: Points to a Macaroon “What is this? Is it good? Is it gluten-free? Do you have any other options for food?  What do I have to do to get one?”
Me: Do you work in sales?
Time waster: No. So… tell me EVERYTHING.
Me: Do you use email?
Time waster: Nope. Can I have another Macaron?

Politely finish up a conversation with a time waster  as fast as possible whether you’re at Dreamforce, on a call or in a meeting. Seriously, don’t waste your time. There’s plenty of qualified fish in the sea.

3. Get outside

Always have your game face on. Waiting on a long line for a coffee, at the bar or even the bathroom line can be prime places to network. You never know where you’ll meet a qualified prospect or an active buyer.

Go and party. I’m serious. Make someone laugh and engage in a genuine conversation while still maintaining professionalism is the best way to build relationships and close deals.

The people you meet “outside” are worth it.

Four days later, too many hours to count, a few new “prizes” (I admit I’m a sucker for the free water bottles), a stack of business cards and a handful of calendar meetings, Dreamforce ended.

Now what? Follow up! Here’s s few email tips to follow up with your stack of business cards