If you ever go networking to get the word out about your business, then you need a good networking or elevator pitch. Something that excites people, that is clear and obvious and gets them telling other people about your business.
But how do you start? When you talk about your business and what you do at a networking event, what is your opening line?
Article after article recommends that you use the Eminem sandwich as a standard approach to your networking pitch. Although they don’t call it that. You start with “My name is..” and end with “My name is..” Very slim shady.
Now those pedants amongst you will be pointing out that the above approach should NOT be called an Eminem sandwich – and you’re right. No-one orders a “bread sandwich” for lunch. Just bear with me a moment.
In fact, if the main part of your pitch is the cool juicy stuff in the middle – about the problems you solve and your best clients, then actually this approach should be called the Juicy on Eminem, in a ‘ham on rye’ style sandwich order. The Eminem bit is the bread, that sandwiches together the juicy content about your business.
If Everyone Else Does It – Then Don’t
At a networking event you might listen to 25 other people talk about their business. How on earth are you going stand out enough for people to remember you?
If everyone else is starting with the name of themselves and their business, that seems to be one big fat reason NOT to. Blending in is not the name of the game – not if you want to be remembered.
Your Name Hits Their Snooze Button
Starting with your name is like setting a snooze button on people’s attention.
The minute people hear “my name is..” they know what’s coming next, so their attention starts to wonder. You’ve barely started and they are already thinking elsewhere.
You’ve already told them, although not in so many words, “I am the same as everyone else”, because you’re done what everyone else has done.
So please, please, please. Forget the snooze button. Tell me something exciting, tell me something interesting, say something that no-one else says. Help me stay awake. Help me to remember you.
Networking is a brilliant way to let people know about your business. After all, what could be better? A roomful of strangers who hang on your every word, treat your business card like is a Golden Ticket to Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and then tell everyone they know about how amazing and unique your business is.
Hey presto! Suddenly your business is the HOTTEST business in town and there are queues of people lining up to work with you.
Sadly, it rarely works that way. And the reasons are these:
1) People don’t listen to what you say – because they’ve already listened to 25 people in the last 30 minutes, they’re busy looking at your oh-so-clever business card and filing it with a pile of others (soon to be in the bin) so their attention is waning and they’re working out just how soon they can get out of there
2) Even if they listen, they don’t remember what you say – because there was too much information, they didn’t really understand it and they’ve already listened to 25 people so it’s all starting to merge into one big migraine-inducing blur
3) Even if they listen and remember what you say, they don’t tell anyone – because they have no idea out of all the hundreds of people they know, WHO to tell about what you do. They can’t tell everyone, so they tell no-one.
WHO Needs What You Do?
A few years ago I was helping out someone on a LinkedIn group and in answer to my question, she said that her ideal client was “anyone”.
Really? (I felt like saying, with heavy sarcasm)
A few more questions revealed that actually her ideal client was a woman, aged 35-55, who had a chronic illness that had failed to respond well to conventional treatment, and who was open to using complementary therapies.
Here’s the deal – you may think you’re helping your business by having the largest possible client base (I thought so, and it made my business invisible and unreferrable). The reality is that the bigger your potential market, the bigger your budget had better be, as the harder people find it to refer business to you. If you don’t have billions to spend on TV advertising to reach anyone and everyone, you’d better start getting specific.
A Treasure Map To Riches Beyond Belief
What if you were given a map to some treasure with a big red X on it. You were told there was an endless supply of clients at the X. WOW!
But that’s all the map has written on it. No markers, no landmarks, nothing. It could be anywhere in the whole world.
Pretty useless, right?
About as useless as saying “anyone” or “everyone” is your ideal client or target market. There’s no goal, no reference point, no pointers to help people know where to look.
One Day, You Meet a Coach (bet that’s never happened to you before)
Someone at a networking event introduces them to you as a coach. They say they help people who want “more from life”.
You search through your mental map of people you know… (like that game Guess Who).
Who is there that you know who would be a really good fit for their business? Who spring easily and immediately to mind?
Anyone or No-one?
What if the same person had said “I help women in their mid 40s who have spent the last years of their life being a mum. Now their children are at school, they want to rebuild their career and I work with them to help them decide what sort of job would suit them best, to complete applications, get them ready for interview and ultimately land their dream job.”
Now who springs to mind?
Even if there is no-one who immediately comes to mind, you will at least know if you ever meet someone who is a good fit for that client.
Get Clear, Get Specific and Get More Clients
Imagine knowing from the age of three what your Diamond is… The sooner you start looking for and focusing on your Diamond, the sooner you get to live a life of passion, enthusiasm, energy and joy.
In a talk that I developed and presented to 160 Year 10 students at a Careers Event at Abbey Grange Academy in Leeds, I used the story of a boy with autism who shone for his knowledge of the planets at just 3 years of age. His mother encouraged him and he is pipped to win a Noble Prize in the future…
This is what the Assistant Principle of Abbey Grange School, Paul Cooper said after the event…
The talk covers..
- The five steps on your journey to finding your Diamond
- The biggest mistakes people make when answering the question “What’s Special About You?”
- Three reasons why having a clear Diamond will help you get the job you dream of
- One simple, powerful secret to finding and refining your very own Diamond