I count myself extremely lucky hanging around some of the thought leaders in the data center industry. In the past I would travel with and spend time at conferences with Mike Manos when he ran Microsoft's data center group and Olivier Sanche when he ran eBay's data center group. I still get to hang with the thought leaders and one of the things I see too often are the sales guys who would circle like sharks around a target, waiting for when they could move in. Most of the time the sales sharks keep their distance.
Sometimes though the sales sharks commit when there is no opening and they interject themselves in to an existing conversation. After a minute if the sales shark doesn't back off, we figure out whose turn it is to save the DC executive from the sales shark.
What do you do? We typically joke about it later. I can tell you never do any of these sales sharks score a "so glad that guy interrupted our conversation to tell me about his product/service." So, how do you stop the sales shark predator behavior? Is this just part of what comes with going to a DC conference?
The idea I had years ago, and I still have them is a package of Yellow and Red referee cards used by soccer referees.
If I pull a yellow card and have one of our friends take a picture we would have record of committing a foul, interrupting a conversation. We could then share the image with others, and hopefully the sales shark would go away. This could be pretty funny too. Dude perfect has their own youtube video.
if we wanted to make it even funnier we could make it like a photobomb with someone inserting themselves with a yellow card.