How to put into practice lessons learned at a conference

It was a great meeting! MDRT holds great conferences, and so does your firm. You come back to the office with your batteries charged. How do you hold on to some of the knowledge and inspiration you gained at the meeting when the reality of catching up on emails and phone calls is waiting for you back at the office?

Practical steps to put lessons learned into practice

At the conference, you heard great ideas and took notes. Here’s how to apply this knowledge to your practice before those ideas slip away and you don’t get to benefit from them.

  1. Organize notetaking. As you take notes during sessions, you may find handwriting notes reinforce learning. To help remember the material better, skip taking pictures of PowerPoint slides unless they are graphs. At the end of each session, write down three (or more) key takeaways.
  2. Organize your takeaways. When you’re back in the office, take those sheets listing three takeaways from every session and bring them together. Organize them again into categories such as “prospecting,” “client retention” and “referrals.” Your core lessons are now summarized on a few sheets, listed by category.
  3. Focus on a category, a day at a time. In addition to working your business plan for the day, schedule some time, perhaps 30 minutes, to review one list, such as “prospecting.” Ask yourself how many of these ideas can fit into your practice. How will you do it?
  4. Getting from start to finish. Exactly where do these ideas fit? Is this a new prospecting script? What must happen between the moment I start talking with a prospect using this new idea and the moment they become a client? What are the steps?
  5. Connect with your conference friends on social media. LinkedIn is likely the preferred channel. Send them a LinkedIn invite and personalize the message by perhaps mentioning where and when you met. When they accept, send a message immediately to start a dialog. Ask what ideas they took away from the conference.
  6. Who were the most relevant speakers? If someone only does seminars and you don’t, that might not be your most relevant presentation. If someone held an objections clinic addressing ones you get all the time, that is relevant. Find that speaker on LinkedIn. If you cannot connect, become a follower.
  7. Does the relevant speaker have a LinkedIn newsletter? Many do, so sign up for it. If you can, send them a message letting them know you enjoyed their session and signed up for their newsletter. They may tell you it is OK to reach out with questions.
  8. Has the speaker written articles for industry publications? Find them, perhaps through their website. If you liked their talk on overcoming objections, they may have written in-depth articles on the subject. Expand your knowledge in your area of interest.
  9. Review the categories you set up earlier. Each month, set aside 30 minutes to review a list. What was the lesson you learned? How were you going to apply it? Is it working? Keep yourself focused.
  10. What conferences are coming up? Review other conferences you could attend and their agendas. What are the categories in your business where you need help, and which sessions address those topics? Which speakers will be appearing? Are these ones you really liked? Prepare questions ahead of time. Use the next conference to build on your knowledge from the last conference.

Conferences can be expensive to attend. Do your best to take away information and apply it to your practice.

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. His book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” is available on Amazon.

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