Give your sixty seconds that killer kick it needs to get people to notice, listen, take action and make you feel confident with your delivery.
Build rapport with your entire audience. If you’re in a group, do not just focus your attention on one person. It’s uncomfortable for them and you. Plus it will make the other people there feel excluded and ignored.
Communicate The Benefits
Communicate the benefits of your product or service. Remember, you are the value you bring, not what you do. Focus on the benefits you offer and truly value the knowledge you have. Really think about, what I often refer to as, ‘hitting a nerve’, with your customers.
Why do they need your product or service? Why should they buy from you? Why are you different from your competition? Why, why, why, why, why? Dig deep and keep asking yourself why and this will lead you straight to the benefits your customer experiences with you, and that is when the value you bring will be revealed.
As the 1980’s pop stars, Fun Boy Three & Bananarama, sang, “It Ain’t What You Do; It’s The Way That You Do It, And That’s What Gets Results”
Being specific about what you want and how other people can help you is crucial. State your intention and be specific with what you want to achieve. People can only help you if they know how and who you want intros to. You really need to have a clear understanding of who it is that you would like introductions to. Imagine that the person or group of people you’re talking to, can connect you with your dream customer or that person. You know, that person that you’ve been wanting to get a meeting with for months or even years. Well, they may know them. I’ve lost count of how many times, I’ve met someone, at a networking event, who has failed to tell me who their ideal customer is.
Networking is a classic case of, ‘if you don’t ask then you don’t get’. I’m always coming up with ideas for other people, but that’s because I’m a networking and marketing expert. It’s what I do every day. I spend my life training, helping and connecting business owners to get referrals, so it comes naturally. For others, though, whilst they may know the person you need an intro to, if you don’t tell them, they may not make the connection. Help them to unlock the key to their contacts.
Have Positive Engergy
Having positive energy is fundamental to how you’re perceived. You want to attract conversations with the right people, so allow yourself to shine. This does not mean that you have to be outgoing and gregarious; it just means have a positive vibe.
If you’re reading this and you’re concerned about being an introvert, please don’t be put off. Introverts make some of the best networkers, because you are usually great listeners, which is a key ingredient of networking success. Look out for my networking for introverts blog that is coming soon.
If you’re an extrovert, this doesn’t mean be even more outgoing and loud. You must be mindful that sometimes extroverts can be a little over powering to some people. That said, the power of positivity can have an enormous impact on the people around you, how you make them feel and how comfortable they will be referring you onto their contacts. A simple smile it a great start to feeling positive, because it’s hard to be miserable when you smile!
Keep It Simple
Keep it simple, to the point and don’t drag it out. There’s nothing worse than someone hogging the limelight for too long. If you’re attending a networking group, then it’s likely that timing will make an impact on the entire meeting. However, even at an open networking event, it’s always wise to stick to the 60 second rule of thumb. Besides, some of the best known conversationalists in the world are those who ask questions about other people and listen intently to what they have to say.
We have two ears and one mouth for a reason! This is a good thing to remind yourself of from time-to-time, especially if you love to chat. I mean no offense by this. I’m an extrovert who loves to talk. It’s only through my years of continuous NLP and personal development training that I’ve learned when to stop and listen! It’s one of the most powerful communications skills I’ve mastered and you can too.
Straplines are not the first choice for everyone. I’ve seen the difference it can make, so have an outstanding strap line, because it makes you memorable. Strap lines are so powerful and they reach people at a subliminal level. Please note, tough, that this tip is gearing more towards people who are members or visiting networking groups like www.bobclubs.com or www.bni.com rather than larger or more informal gatherings. When heard repeatedly, a strap line is so enticing. You really don’t want to come across as being salesy or cheesy! Yes, I know that salesy isn’t actually a word, but you get get the gist.
Remember, if nothing else, your 60 seconds is your opportunity to communicate how people can help you get referrals. You’re not selling to the people in the room, so there’s no pressure to perform. You’re simply giving other people ideas on how they can help you get introductions to the right people, in the right places, at the right time.
If you’ve ever put pressure on yourself and got nervous about talking about your business, then you’re not alone. Even the most experienced presenters, trainers and professional speakers, like me, get nervous sometimes. We all do! Nerves are good – they help us improve, and it shows you care about creating a good and lasting impression. In my book that counts for a lot, because if you care it means you’re passionate about what you do or sell.
I know it’s easy for me to say, but you really have nothing to fear. I’ve worked with hundreds of people who were nervous about doing a sixty seconds when they first started networking. Some of them now love it! Some of them learned to tolerate it! All of them are winning business through referrals! Always remember this; those people you’re talking to are there to help you. They’re not there to judge you or catch you out.
I’ll bet if you asked them, every single one of them would say that they used to be nervous too.
About The Author
You can find out more about the author, Tracy Heatley, here. Check out her marketing and networking training services too.
If you want to find out how to turn your nerves into referrals, you have a question, or you just want further information, please get in touch and I’ll be more than happy to help.
Tracy is a CIM Chartered Marketer who has been networking for almost twenty years, so if you do need marketing or networking advice she will be able to help you.
Written by Tracy Heatley