Actually, customers do not want to be talked into a sale at an event. And at the same time, they expect it to happen. And, on the other hand, there are salespeople who do not dare to try ist and prefer to talk to well-known customers or colleagues.
But if you organize an event in your company, you should be open and get to know as many new people as possible. And in this case it is not about sales talk with the aim of concluding a contract (or at least not yet). Rather, you should scan for customers with potential and pick them out from among the crowd. Get into a conversation with them and if possible, even get an appointment.
I therefore recommend organizing events with a break or a very appealing aperitif. The best thing is to have both as it leaves as much time as possible for a conversation.
In addition, you need a strategy for your conversation:
Begin by standing sideways next to a guest who is not currently talking. You can also join a stand-up table and transition from general small talk into a two-person conversation.
Step 1: Start with small talk in the form of questions related to the event: "How did you find the lecture?" Or "What was new for you?".
Step 2: Pass on to your topic, but don't make it too obvious. In this phase it is about determining the potential without going directly to the attack: "How do you handle the topic X?"
Tip: During the conversation, always loop back into a small talk to make the conversation more pleasant. The customer should never get the impression that you only want to sell something.
Step 3: If you have found out that your customer is interesting to you, go one step further and test the willingness to talk: "Have you ever been informed about XY?"
Step 4: If you still feel that your conversational partner is open to go on, go to the last step and suggest an appointment: "What do you think, when do we want to talk about it in a more quiet environment?"
If well done, such a conversation lasts five minutes. It is important that you always leave room for the conversation to develop and keep it loose. In my seminars, we of course discuss this strategy in a more detailed way and practice the whole thing. It's not that hard.
If you notice that there is no openness or potential, continue the conversation for a few sentences and then pull out elegantly from the affair. There is always an excuse for this. And then join the next unknown person and start again from the beginning.
If you and all your colleagues at an event proceed so purposefully, their output increases immensely. I wish you lots of fun and good contacts.