How to Improve Your Elevator Networking

elevator-pitchMany people new to marketing or networking mistakenly believe that successfully marketing a business has to incorporate a dedicated sales pitch. In reality, it’s often about making mutually beneficial connections or arrangements with people you already know. Here’s more information on how to improve your elevator networking

In Liz Lynch’s Networking Smart: Attract A Following In Person and Online, Ms. Lynch explains how to incorporate your elevator pitch into a longer introduction sequence when networking. By relaying your pitch through one-on-one conversation, it becomes “a set of blocks that you can configure in different ways depending on the situation.” Moreover, your pitch will become “a way of talking about yourself that is informative, inviting, and intriguing.” As such, it’s more like a friendly game of catch – like  lobbing a ball gently to a partner – than an offensive move or storming the ramparts.

When using this conversation-blocks approach, consider what parts of your elevator pitch to move forward when answering questions. For instance, “What is your name?” is a question that also allows you to showcase your company in a succinct and memorable manner.

In fact, people are innately curious. Giving them a piece of information about yourself makes them feel they know you better and spurs interest. Be sure to have a well crafted tagline ready that generates interest. Simply stating that you’re an author, consultant, or speaker will be forgotten quickly. Pique curiosity with detail instead, and find something about your business that you can talk passionately about. Talk about specifics and not generalities. People will not be intrigued by the mention of coin collecting, but they might be curious to know which rare coin set the world record for highest price paid at auction. Some questions naturally allow people to share their professional or business goals, and many people being of assistance, especially if they can help others connect with someone they know.

Certain types of questions shortcut the “know, trust, and like” requirement. For instance:

Why Do They Come to You? Why Do They Choose You?

Don’t be left scrambling for answer. Be sure you know how to articulate what differentiates you from others in your line of work and take the opportunities given. As Ms. Lynch says, “This is the time to highlight something special about you and your company that would make someone feel good about referring a friend to you.” A compelling story about how your product or service helped a client is an especially effective here. Stories are easy for anyone to grasp and remember.

You know you’ve done your job well when you hear some form of “What’s your ideal prospect?” Be prepared to answer this question specifically, as saying “anybody and everybody,” prohibits others from actually thinking of people they know that that they can connect you with.

Repeated positive feedback to these answers might just lead to lead to genuine interest in your business or services. Make yourself available to talk to anyone further about the problems or challenges they’re facing. If they’re interested, give them your card, tell them you will give them a call tomorrow, and follow up on that call.

Networking success is predicated on being prepared. That means anticipating what questions might be asked and how you intend to answer them. Making an impression and displaying empathy and understanding to the people you interact with day to day can only help you to achieve success in your ventures, personal or business as active listening with the intent to be of service comes through loud and clear to everyone.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who teaches women entrepreneurs how to monetize their message so they can make more money from their expertise. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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