You have finally plucked up the courage to attend a networking event. You mingle for a while before taking your seat for breakfast and before you know it the 60 second round has started, or as it’s more commonly known, ‘creeping death’. You watch and listen as the pitches slowly work their way around the table getting closer and closer to you by the second. You look across the table and notice that it’s nearly your turn. Your name has been your name all of your life but for some unknown reason you start to practice it in your head just on the off chance you call yourself Brenda; which of course is fine if your name is Brenda but a little embarrassing if it’s not. You somehow stand up and deliver your elevator pitch and very quickly sit back down. You have no idea what the rest of the room do after that as it takes you at least 10 exhausting minutes to calm down. Phew - sound familiar?
It’s vital that you get your 40-60 second pitch bang on. There could be 25 to 30 people in the room and you want them all listening to you (apart from the ones having a mini breakdown about the prospect of having to stand up of course). You want them all eager to know more about you and your Firm and more importantly how you might be able to help them. In essence, you want all their lights still on at the end. As Paddy says – “No Likey, No Lighty.” You don’t want any lights switching off; you want everyone wanting to know more by the time you’ve finished. Please note: If you don’t watch ‘Take Me Out’ on ITV then the last bit will go straight over your head so just ignore me!
If you’ve got a networking event on the horizon then put some careful thought into your pitch and practice it out loud several times beforehand. A lot of people don’t do this. They decide what they are going to say just as they are about to deliver their pitch and more often than not it shows in their performance. Can you use a gimmick? Not essential but it sometimes helps. Have you got any client testimonials you could read out that would set you apart from the rest? You don’t need War and Peace, just something to demonstrate your expertise. And of course, don’t forget your call to action. Who do you want to speak to? Who is your target market? Thinking about these things and implementing them could be the difference between someone wanting to use you and the whole room turned off by you.
As Paddy would say, “Let the networker see the client”. (In truth he wouldn’t say this as its rubbish, but “Let the tutti see the fruitti” just didn’t fit with this article).
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