networking intro

Elevator speeches. It can be a 30 Second Commercials, 60 Second Commercials. Personal Introductions. Defining Statements, Networking Introductions. Positioning Statements.

Which one to use? when to use? And with whom to use? Ahhhh it’s a difficult question!!

Especially because since 90’s, thousands of articles, manuals, books, guides etc have been written on topic of networking. All of them addresses different techniques on how to answer question: “So, what do you do?”

To put it in point of view, consider results from Google search:

  • 30 Second Commercial – 135,000 pages
  • Positioning Statement – 106,740 pages
  • Elevator Speech – 128,000 pages
  • Defining Statement – 26,000
  • 60 Second Commercial – 33,500 pages
  • Personal Introduction – 3,600 pages

In networking, you are going to be rushed, caught off guard and asked unexpected questions. You’ll meet people at different locations. You’ll address different strangers at a time, get interrupted mid-commercial, and sometimes, you won’t even get a chance to say a single word during whole conversation. All the while, you will not even have time to decide whether to give your Elevator Speech, do the 30 Second Commercial or Defining Statement!

The above information might scare you but it’s the fact.

Networking is unpredictable. But, still we all depends on it for growth of our careers. According to report from Federal Bureau of Labor, almost 70% of our new business comes from some sort of networking. Following are some points for effective, memorable and concise networking Introduction.

Start from Top

Due to the fact that you might never know how much time you’ll have to introduce yourself, the best thing to do will be to start from the top with following exercise.

Take five pieces of paper. Assign one sentence to top of each sheet:

  • Who are you
  • What you do
  • Whom you do it for
  • How you do it
  • What happens as a result

Write down all the characteristics, words, ideas, phrases and the like that pertain to each of these areas of your introduction. The main reason behind starting this activity will be to understand full scope of your business.

Back to the Bottom

Now your mind might be swimming with dozens of key points about your work. The pithy one-liner type sentences that grabs the attention and intrigue listener. Thousands of networking resource claims to have their own magic formula, I will let you know about the technique I found to be most effective.

I’m a/an (fill blank with job title )
and I work with (mention target customers )
who want to (become, learn, increase, improve)
so they can (benefits or result that you can provide).

It is not necessary to use this exact formula. So, it would be much better to write out different versions of your own. Say them out loud. Share them with your close friends and colleagues. And finally pick out the most effective ones.

So, Networking is development and maintenance of a mutually valuable relationships and those relationships are sparked by the ability to concisely, effectively and memorably introduce yourself when someone says, “So, what do you do?”

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