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AEO Forums 2024 “The power in you” Round Up

Flume recently attended the AEO (Association of Event Organisers) Forums 2024.

This year’s theme  “The power in you” was all about helping attendees unlock their potential, providing tools and knowledge for personal growth, a theme Flume could fully get behind.

Here were some of our key takeaways from the event relevant to those of us that work in sales.

Don’t let fear hold you back from realising your potential.

The opening keynote was hosted by Squadron Leader (Rtd) Sarah Furness, a former combat helicopter pilot, who led on operational combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Through success and failure in her role as a leader in war zones Sarah learned some valuable life lessons that we can all benefit from.

If you want to find your power, find the best version of yourself, you need to do the things that scare you. Feel the fear and do it anyway.


As salespeople, there are many fears that can hold us back from being high performers; fear of rejection, fear of challenging our customers, fear of approaching personalities that don’t match our own etc.

Sarah learned that humans perform best when we are stretched, we don’t want to be totally freaking out but we don’t want to be bored either, we want to be just uncomfortable enough, because that is where we do our best work.

We’ve all felt imposter syndrome creeping in, whispering doubts into our ears, but remember, everyone is just as scared as you are. Sit with the discomfort and then just do it, you’ll be surprised what you can achieve.

Taking the time to properly research your prospects and personalise every outreach is vital.

Flume CEO Raoul Monks hosted a fascinating Q&A with Colin Pittman and Halil Bedevi, two experienced buyers in the exhibition space.

When asked what their biggest bugbears were when it came to sales approaches, both Colin and Halil agreed that generic, automated email messages were the worst. It may be tempting to apply a numbers game to sales, but generic messages are hated by buyers, they erode trust and are rarely read.

Buyers are looking for salespeople who provide true strategic value to their business, who take the time to understand the challenges they face and develop a personalised solution to suit.

The telephone is still one of the most powerful sales tools, if used properly.

The Telephone Assassin – Anthony Stears, shared several techniques to help stay in control of sales conversations and get the most out of the phone.

It’s myth that salespeople (especially young salespeople) are afraid of the phone, they just don’t have the knowledge and confidence to use it properly. The telephone has also developed a bad reputation thanks to the use of sales scripts and the numbers game approach.


Before picking up the phone we must consider the person on the other end, put ourselves into their shoes, and imagine what objections they might have to receiving our call. For example; our prospects are likely to be busy, they probably don’t have an immediate need for our services or product, they probably dislike ‘cold’ calls.

Anthony advises that we introduce ourselves and what we do succinctly and politely , then knowing that we are potentially disturbing them at a bad time we ask them quickly when would be a more appropriate time to call. This approach immediately shows our prospects that we are thinking of their situation and aren’t desperate to get a sale, it allows them to control when we speak to them, which will lead to a warmer conversation the next time you call at an agreed time.

At Flume we are firm believers in any method that considers the buyers perspective, give this approach a try the next time you need to make a sales call.

Want to learn more? Check out our Sales Excellence whitepaper where we explain how putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes can significantly increase your win rate. Find out what the high sales performers are doing differently.

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