The point of being at a booth is to talk with people, to tell them about your company, and to see if your two organizations should talk more…if their organization wants to buy your enterprise software.
You can also just achieve simple lead collection for your sales machine. No matter what the scale of your product, more leads in Salesforce is always better. It’s easy to scowl and dismiss “lead gen,” but, like, even Google leadgens, you know? You gots to!
It’s better to actually talk enough with someone to get asked to come to their work and talk more, but just getting an email address is good too.
Here’s some more things I try to keep in mind, and sometimes do when I’m at a booth:
Getting people to talk can be painful. Few people want to talk with anyone at a
If someone is silently lingering and staring, ask them questions like:
Those questions usually result in a list of topics and conversational wormholes to jump down, then you’re off to the races (if you want to be).
Of course, you’re hoping they’ll ask what your company does and how it can help - standard casual pitch stuff. What you want to do, in addition to just talking with them, is slowly smell out of they’re commercially interesting for your company:
For high volume, start small products (something you can try for free for 30 days or pay for with a credit card) you can do more transactional glad-handing by getting people interested in actually signing up for the service. And then you can even track the full life-cycle of that account from that initial signup.
For “enterprise” class things, you’re more looking to get a meeting to talk more, and at the very least get a lead for the pile of interested people back at the office.
Sometimes, you’ll be recruiting as well. Then you’re just curious about people, of course, and want to sell the culture of your company.
Also, you’ll find that other vendors will come by to talk with you, this is fine, but doesn’t really lead to much unless they’re interested in partnering or looking for a job.
Of course, there’s just meeting new people and learning new things. Occasionally you’ll meet someone who’ll have something new and novel to say, something you can learn!
Again: if you’re into that kind of thing.
The main things, tho:
Finally, the larger the price tag for your product and the harder it is to try it out (the more enterprise-y it is) the fewer useful conversations you’ll have. Most people won’t be “good” leads, they just won’t be the buyers or right influencers. But that’s fine, just keep talking to people: you only need a handful of good conversations if you have a big price tag.
Finally, if you’ve ever seen me tabling or at a booth, you’ll know I only do these things about half the time. I’ve worked with many people who are much better at it, I’m not super.
This week’s Software Defined Talk episode:
Matt explains the GitLab vs. CloudBees kerfuffle, Coté offers advice when attending a DevOps Day, we also recommend never buying a corporate jet. Plus, there is some discussion of AXE Body Spray.
I go to London a lot. So much that I had to get my passport renewed (the Dutch love to stamp my passport when I go out and in, despite having a residency there - one of the great expat mysteries!).
The town is comforting. First, because they speak English, of course. Transacting in my native tounge is relaxing. But second because of all those Hugh Grant movies. Stay with me here, just a moment! I don’t even remember which movies they were in, or if he was in them, but I remember a bunch of romantic comedies set in London, from long ago, the 90s. They were so simple and easy, and really had nothing to do with London.
The tube and the black cabs are great, and the downtown area seems, I don’t know, so city. It doesn’t hurt that I manage to stay at nice hotels when I’m here either.
Plus, there’s a few people, friends you’d call them, that I get to see when I’m here. As I suppose happens to most, as time goes on, kids are born, people move, and you’re generally exhausted at life, getting together with friends is harder and they just sort of fade like that prestige furniture your grand parent’s formal living room - that place where no one ever goes and your sure as shit are not welcome to sit in over the smooth, green couch as you eat your macaroni and cheese. There’s no TV in there for Christ’s sake - what the purpose of that room?
There’s the age of the city too. At over 2,000 years old, I suppose it’s not Asian cities or Rome, but it’s still old as fuck. The idea that people just walk around in this museum, in all those centuries, is pleasantly baffling for an American.
Yes, London. A comforting place.
You know how it is: you think you should try new things, alternatives to what you’ve always used. Several weeks ago I went to using Safari over Chrome. Being an Internet native (way back to BBSes and gopher, lynxh, Mosaic, Netscape, Firefox, and so forth), Chrome seems like the normal web browser. It has View Source!
But, the idea of an integrated, Apple done browser is alluring: Safari. Plus, there’s this weird thing in Siri Shortcuts and iOS stuff that you can get the highlighted text in Safari, but not Chrome. Theoretically, there’s some “Apple cares about my privacy, Google doesn’t” thing…but I’m dubious about that. At the very least, that concern is way down the list of things I have time in my life to worry about.
I’ve used Safari for three or four weeks now. It’s nice enough, works perfectly fine. But, like, I don’t really see the advantage. If anything, Chrome’s ad blockers are a bit more better and the built in translation service (rather than having to add in Microsoft’s thing) is done better. For me, an American living in The Netherlands, translation is hella important.
So will I switch back? …probably?
Still waiting for the paperless future. IDC estimates that developers spent $4.3bn on developer stuff in 2018, up 4.2% y/y. We’ve run out of letters for naming generations - what’s after Z? Keybanc does some qualitative visits with Zoom, Nutanix, and VMware. Twitter lists are very useful. New direct flight between my home and my Home. This was my favorite in the before times.