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30 Minutes to President's Club | No-Nonsense Sales

151: Mastering every moment at your next conference (+ never lose at musical chairs) (Christine Nolan, Global VP of Sales @ Starburst)

Wed Jun 28 2023
conference preparationnetworkingstrategic approachesmaximizing opportunities


The episode provides valuable insights on conference preparation, effective networking, strategic approaches at conferences, and maximizing opportunities. It emphasizes the importance of building relationships, personalization, and optimizing time at conferences.


Implementing a third of Christine's advice can yield better results than the average sales rep in a decade's worth of conferences

Avoid unhealthy conference habits like eating fried food and drinking alcohol; focus on fitness and exercise instead

Tactic TV event on July 19th will replay a real sales call gone wrong and provide coaching on what should have been said

Use Outreach's Create and Close tactic, including the minimap email and outbound sequence templates, for effective pipeline management

Lavender suggests removing commas from prospecting emails to increase reply rates; check their sales email framework guide for more tips

When faced with the objection 'Call Me In 6 Months,' ask for details to reach out more thoughtfully next time; Aurum offers objection handling resources

Gong advises turning a problem into a story during discovery calls to engage prospects; learn more in their masterclass

Christine's top three actionable takeaways: record, listen, rewrite, record, listen for self-improvement; have an intentional speaking hour to eliminate filler words; play musical chairs at conferences to meet potential buyers


  1. Conference Preparation
  2. Effective Networking
  3. Strategic Approaches at Conferences
  4. Maximizing Opportunities

Conference Preparation

00:00 - 07:14

  • Reach out to contacts in the city or region beforehand and schedule coffee meetings
  • Utilize previous conference registrations to connect with past attendees
  • Personalize invitations and consider hand-writing notes for a more personal touch

Effective Networking

06:44 - 13:54

  • Focus on networking and building relationships rather than immediately diving into sales conversations
  • Structure pre-scheduled meetings as warm meet and greets, gradually transitioning into sales discussions
  • Prepare by gathering information about the attendee's company and their goals for the meeting
  • Tailor conversations based on what the attendee wants to accomplish during the interaction
  • Before starting a conversation, understand the goals of the other person and what they want to accomplish
  • Avoid pitching unless someone explicitly asks for it
  • At conferences, focus on building relationships by showing genuine interest in the other person's work

Strategic Approaches at Conferences

13:26 - 20:22

  • Prepare a hit list of people you want to meet and share it with your team
  • Look for casual opportunities to interact with your targets, such as in the bathroom or during breaks
  • Create natural and casual interactions instead of waiting at a booth for prospects to approach you
  • Pick sessions that your buyers might attend and be open to leaving if they're not valuable
  • Find creative ways to work the conference outside of official sessions and booths
  • Optimize your time by attending shorter portions of sessions and networking effectively on the conference floor
  • Use team collaboration tools like Slack to coordinate efforts with colleagues both at the conference and back home
  • Avoid scheduling work during conference hours and focus on taking care of yourself

Maximizing Opportunities

19:55 - 26:35

  • Optimize your time at conferences by using a Slack channel to communicate with your team back home and gather information on potential prospects
  • Meeting prospects can happen anywhere, even in the hotel gym
  • Salespeople should let go of deals that don't align with their target audience or solve a specific pain point