Insight

Are you ready to make the right first impression at networking events?

If you’re anything like us, now that social distancing restrictions are relaxing, your diary is probably starting to get filled up with in-person networking events again.

It’s exciting isn’t it?

But we’re all a little rusty, let’s be honest.

We’ve suddenly got to remember to get there on time (no more clicking on a link to enter) and to wear work attire (on your bottom-half as well as your top-half).

We’ve also got to remember how to tell people what we do for a living – in a way that opens up conversations rather than causing people to switch off.

Yes. It’s high time for a refresher on how to talk to ACTUAL real-life people about what you do for work.

Do you have an elevator pitch?

The elevator pitch, sometimes called a one liner, refers to those few precious seconds you might snatch in an elevator with your ideal client to tell them what you do in a way that makes them want to know more.

You’ve only got the time it takes to get to the fifth floor before they literally walk out of the conversation.

And whilst an elevator probably isn’t the setting of your next event, fellow networkers will still find a way to walk out of a conversation if it’s not engaging them. So be sure to make that first introduction count.

Sell yourself with a one liner story

Everyone loves a good story. But is it possible to tell a story in 10 seconds? Sure!

We love Donald Miller’s straight talking advice on how to craft a one liner that explains your business in a way that naturally tells a story that leads into an engaging and enjoyable conversation. A good one liner will lead your companion down a path that they then want to walk themselves.

Let’s say you’re a structural engineer and you’ve just been asked “What do you do?” by the director of a property and development company. The perfect opportunity. What should you say?

  1. Identify your customer’s problem

First set the scene for why your service is needed. What problem do you fix?

“Most development sites unearth unexpected engineering problems through initial survey work.”

  1. Explain how you help

Next, set out what you do that solves that problem.

“We design buildings and structures that address site constraints…”

  1. Describe the successful ending to their story.

Finally, show how your service gives them a clear benefit.

“…to create schemes that are innovative, viable and deliverable”.

Take time before the event to think about each of these things, and then memorise it.

“You know how most development sites unearth unexpected engineering problems through initial survey work? Well, we design buildings and structures that address site constraints to create schemes that are innovative, viable and deliverable”.

If you’re stuck for words to say, take a look at your company mission statement. A lot of thought will have gone into it to sum up how your business helps your clients. Use it as inspiration for your one liner.

So make a first impression that is memorable. And not because you’ve forgotten to change out of your shorts and flip flops.

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