The Medicaid Training Workshop, presented by David J. Zumpano, JD, CPA, founder of Medicaid Practice Systems (MPS, LLC) was another great Academy program packed with valuable information. And while education is the main purpose of such workshops and conferences, the networking opportunities can be just as valuable.
You can make the most of the opportunity, meet the right people, and perhaps drum up new business by following some simple ground rules:
- Do some research before you even leave home. Learn who will be attending, decide who you’d like to connect with, and prepare some talking points so you’ll have something to say when you approach them.
- Commit to meeting two new people at every session. Take the time before the presentation begins to greet the people seated around you, rather than burying your nose in your smartphone. Sit with people you don’t know during breaks and meals. Ask questions of the people you meet. People are more interested in themselves than they are in you, so asking questions will encourage conversation. “Why” questions tend to generate the most discussion.
- As a matter of fact, put your phone, iPad, or laptop away. Immersing yourself in electronics gives the impression that you’d prefer not to be approached.
- Attend the conference social events. Sometimes the most valuable contacts are made at post-conference events when people are less formal, more relaxed and have a drink in their hand.
- Follow up. A few days after meeting, follow up with a brief email. Mention something about your discussion or make a comment on an interesting topic that was part of the conference. Making notes on the business cards you collect is a great way to track what was discussed with each new contact. If you have a referral to offer, this would be the time to do so.
Your goal is to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships. By nurturing the relationship, you’ll establish a strong network of people you can count on for advice, feedback, support, and ideally, new clients.
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