This article, Speaking Opportunities Need to Be BAD to Be Effective, Julie Meyer (Legal Intelligencer, 1/19/06) starts out promisingly enough, with BAD tips (Before, During and After) on making the most of speaking opportunities. Among other tips, Mayer recommends sending out an invitation or announcement before making your speech and obtaining the list of conference attendees so you can follow up after.
But the other advice misses the mark. For example, Mayer suggests:
No need to be shy about selecting a nonclient or two to contact [after the event], either. The approach can be that you were flattered they made the time to attend, you hoped they found it worthwhile and they should contact you if they have any questions in the future. Eager for an opportunity to further develop the relationship? Propose a follow-up meeting of some sort with yourself and someone else from your network who will be an asset to theirs.
Contact one nonclient or two? You should prioritize contacting nonclients and introducing yourself. And why invite someone else along for the ride the first time, unless that person’s going to help you snag the client.
In addition, Mayer’s article doesn’t mention that During the conference, you ought to approach nonclients and introduce yourself. Sure, you can follow up with a letter, but there’s nothing like making an impression in person. Plus, you have the advantage of approaching people from a position of strength and authority when you’re a speaker on a panel.