You walk up to someone at a networking event, and say, “Hi, Robert (reading off his badge), good to meet you. Then one of you asks, “So, what do you do at XYZ Incorporated?” When asked this, here is your big chance to deliver a quick “elevator” speech that Robert can quickly understand and find interesting enough to want to talk more.
At every business networking event and other situations where you meet new businesspeople, you have this opportunity to tell your story and hope to make a beneficial connection. You have just seconds to make a great first impression and to generate interest.
So what should you say? And how do you wish to be remembered when you meet someone at an event, a party or anywhere in life?
Here are ten ideas on how to say and do just the right things when these situations arise:
- Focus on the impact. Make it brief, focused and with confidence. Be brief, Be brilliant, Be done.
- Rotate the facts. Develop several introductions. Think of the different aspects of your work and be creative. Have several introductions for different audiences.
- Don’t give your title. Focus on what you do:- “we help, we provide, we work with….’
- Make it relevant to the audience. What will make the listener say-Tell Me More”? My favorite 3 words. When someone says, “Tell me more”, you have their attention and you can now explain more what you do.
- Believe it. Be careful not to oversell-speak from integrity, pride and passion which like enthusiasm is contagious.
- Put your weight behind it. Be clear and concise and deliver with confidence.
- Look at the listener. Watch for “MEGO” “My Eyes Glaze Over”- we never want this and be aware, when you see even the slightest ‘non interest’- ask them a question to get them talking.
- Know when and when not to use the introduction. Sometimes your intuition kicks in and you know that you only have time or even want to give the briefest response- “I am in the ______Industry— and you?”
- Know when to stop. Less is more. Brief and focused. This bears repeating. Less is always more. Leave them wanting to know more about you.
- Once you have mentioned your name and what you do, immediately focus on the other person— “Tell me how you got interested in the ___________field?” “What is the most interesting part of your work?”
People enjoy talking about themselves and when you listen, you learn, and you can then re-frame how what you do may correlate with what they do.
The first step is building rapport.