Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Idea: Talk to your prospects at conference

The Mortgage Bankers Association's annual conference is just a few weeks away. It's a great show that I look forward to every year. While this industry is responsible for moving massive amounts of capital around, it's really made up of a relatively small group of companies. As a journalist covering this business, I found the annual convention a great opportunity to reconnect with many of the friends and contacts I had made during the year.

But it wasn't a great opportunity to get an in-depth interview. People are moving way too fast. They have too many people to see and no one gets more than a sliver of their time. It makes for a fun conference, but not the best for getting business done. Does that suggest that you can't be successful if you're going to the show to get some new business? Of course not.

What it does mean is that the contacts you make here are not going to have time to hear your entire message while at this venue. You're going to have to get your ideas across in some other way. The vast majority of salespeople will take this opportunity to get a card, shake a hand and try to set up a later date for an appointment. Most busy executives will happily agree to put the meeting off until later, but follow-up will be required to make it happen and it is not likely the executive will remember the details of the meeting when it does finally happen.

There is a better way. I plan to record all of the key messages I want my prospects to hear in a short podcast (less than 5 minutes) and burn them to mini-CDs to carry with me at the show. I'll hand it over with my business card and send the busy executive on his or her way. When I reconnect after the show, a much higher percentage of my prospects will remember who I am.

If you're interested in a solution like this, check out our site. But if you want it by MBA, you need to get moving soon.