Is Your Networking Introduction Irresistible?
There you are, at a cocktail party, a networking mixer, or your weekly leads group meeting. It’s your turn to speak. Someone asks, “what is it that you do.” You’re not prepared and you go off on a list that starts each sentence with “I do this…” You then conclude by giving your office address, website, and phone number. Eyes glaze over. No one gives a crap, because you have not told them what they need to hear.
You made have heard sales gurus say that everyone is tuned in to the same radio station, WIIFM or What’s In It For Me. My annoyance with this phrase starts with nothing that has to do with networking and ends with everything that has to do with networking.
Let’s handle my personal pet peeves first. Radio stations don’t have 5 call letters and stations west of the Mississippi (or some mid-country delineation) start with the letter K. Rant over.
For the networking part of why the concept of “what’s in it for me” is so wrong, look at who the message is being targeted to. Most people want everyone in their networking group to be their customer. So their elevator pitch is aimed only at the people in the group. It should be aimed at the “Rolodex” (look it up, Millennials) or the contacts of the people you are talking to.
What makes a really good networking introduction an irresistible elevator pitch? First, you want to demonstrate a pain and give the solution to the pain. You want to appeal to more than the person you are speaking to. You want the person or people at your meeting to start thinking about everyone they know. Because a lot of times the people you speak to don’t have a problem, but they know someone who does.
Great example – I know my office is a bit of a disorganized mess. But I won’t admit that I could use a little help until things get desperate. If I am at a networking event and the introduction goes something like “how much time do you spend looking for that piece urgent piece of paper you just put on your desk? Do you know know someone who couldn’t find last year’s tax returns and receipts if the IRS was standing at their front door? Maybe you wonder how your doctor can find anything in her office with the crazy pile of papers on the desk. If this is you or someone you know, let me help…”
No it isn’t me. I know where everything is. Usually. It doesn’t take me long…But my friend who has her own company. When I walk into her office, I wonder how she can be so successful and be such a mess.
See what happened there? The perfect pitch was sent my way. The professional organizer in my networking group didn’t direct everything at me. I refuse to admit I have a problem. What she did instead was hit a few of my hot buttons to show me I am, in fact, in pain. But she also asked me to go through my contacts in my head and see who is in a worse situation than I am. Now instead of just getting one new potential client, she has me thinking of myself and two or three other people that could use her services.
That is just part of what makes an irresistible elevator pitch. Start with the basics. Move away from talking about yourself and toward talking about the pain and a solution.
Starting April 24 we’re doing a free online challenge to help you get your elevator pitch to something that makes people say, “wow – tell me more.” It’s called Create Your Irresistible Elevator Pitch.” The challenge is 5 days long. Each day you will receive an email with another step to develop your perfect pitch. There’s a Facebook group to help you connect to others, and there’s even a chance to win prizes.
Join us by clicking here. It will be fun, helpful, and FREE.