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How to Use Sales Navigator to Make the Most of a Networking Event

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Using Sales Navigator for Networking Events

In case you missed it, in-person events are back and here to stay (barring another global pandemic…which hopefully doesn’t happen in my lifetime!) Before you straighten your tie or touch up your lipstick and head out the door to your next conference or networking session, don’t forget to tap into the power of LinkedIn to make sure you’re making the most of your time.

My Event Routine 

Conferences can be overwhelming places to network because you’re often navigating huge event spaces with little time in between sessions for breaks and meet-ups. One book that has really helped me capitalize in-person networking opportunities is This Sh!t Works! by Julie Brown. I highly recommend giving it a read before your next event. 

Here are some of Julie’s tips that I’ve taken to heart. They have truly changed the way I attend conferences and networking meetings. 

  • Don’t be narrow minded. Don’t think about just your peers who might be attending, also reach out to your entire network before the event to see who else might be there.  

  • Buy more business cards, so you’re always prepared for a spontaneous interaction. (Also, I recommend leveraging LinkedIn’s QR code feature for an added “flare” to your networking.) 

  • Schedule time on your calendar before you attend the event to follow up with anyone you met within one to two days after the end of the conference.

  • If you’re attending sessions to meet certain speakers, show up early and try to meet them before their talks. It’s a great way to communicate your interest in their topic and avoid long, rushed lines afterward. Plus, as a speaker myself, receiving a compliment before you “hit the stage” is always a welcomed confidence booster to know you’ve got a fan in the crowd.

Of course, my pre-event routine also includes lots of time on LinkedIn. I use Sales Navigator specifically to get organized before I even step foot in the conference center. Read on for my four-step, pre-event process in Sales Navigator. 

Using Sales Navigator Before an Event 

For every person you’d like to meet face-to-face, follow these Sales Navigator steps to prepare ahead of time. 

  1. Find them on LinkedIn in your Sales Navigator subscription. 
  2. Send them a personalized invitation. 
  3. Save them as a lead into a custom lead list. (Be sure to include the name of the conference or event you’re attending in the list title.) 
  4. When you arrive at the event, reference your lead list in the Sales Navigator mobile app to keep track of all the people you plan to connect with and their info. 

Remember, the Sales Navigator app is separate from the LinkedIn mobile app, so plan accordingly. In general, I recommend doing as much of your searching in the desktop version of Sales Navigator ahead of time. While the mobile app offers a convenient way to reference your lead list on-the-go, it can be a frustrating way to research due to the limited real estate of your phone screen.

Try this bonus step to level up—after you meet someone, use the Sales Navigator app to add a note to their profile that includes what you learned about them so you can make a more personalized follow up after the event.

Using Sales Navigator After an Event 

The usefulness of Sales Navigator doesn’t end when you leave the networking event. Don’t forget to close the loop on all the new connections you’ve made by returning to Sales Navigator to update your lead list. 

I recommend keeping your original lead list and making a new one to reflect your follow-up to-do’s. You might consider titling this something like “Follow Ups: {Insert Name} Conference.” Then, use this list to create action items for yourself.

Consider who needs a follow up and who you’re already scheduled to reconnect with. Note this in your new Sales Navigator lead list. Did anyone become a client? Capture that there too. If you don’t have a CRM, Sales Navigator offers a great way to track the return on investment of attending the conference. 

Making a Good Impression Before You Even Show Up 

Remember, you’re not the only one who will be doing their homework before the big event. Other people will likely be checking you out on LinkedIn too! Put your best foot forward before you even arrive by making sure your LinkedIn profile is in tip-top shape. 

Need a little help? My digital course, The Complete LinkedIn Profile Course™, is the perfect tool to help prepare, build, and launch your profile, all through bite-sized video lessons. It’s an easy, self-guided way to update your LinkedIn profile the right way. Learn more about what you can expect or purchase the course on my website. As an awesome bonus, I’m throwing in a free special offer ($697 value!) for anyone who enrolls. 



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