• You hate getting up early for a formal networking meeting.
• You loathe having to talk to everyone in the room (and smile while doing it).
• You cringe at the thought of needing to be nice to everyone (even if it isn’t at an ungodly hour).
• You can’t stand getting dressed up (or at all).
• You detest driving to the “event”.
• You dislike … fill in the ______________________.
But you also know that networking is one of the fastest and most reliable sources for finding sponsors that can bring you in to speak to their team, group, or your target market.
So you drag yourself to that Wednesday morning meeting and have no idea what you’re going to say when it’s time for your “60-Second” or even briefer “15-Second commercial.” You’ve already given your best tips. You’ve shared shortcuts. You’ve even done product demos. All good stuff but does anyone really remember what you do or how you solve your clients Big Hairy Problems? Probably not and here’s why.
You aren’t memorable (don’t take this personally – no one really is unless they do what I tell you do in a minute).
When you say something like, “Hi, I’m Jane Jones from Business Coaching For You and I help business owners get more business by blah, blah and blah and then drone on until your time’s up, eyes glaze over and the rest of the room is thinking about their lunch plans.
People remember stories. Period. So try this instead.
“Hi, I’m Jane Jones from Business Coaching For You. My client, George, is a commercial banker who loans money to new business owners. As part of his resource team, I train his clients using my Success Sales System. And you know what? They’re all making money. My system has streamlined their marketing efforts and they’re all paying back their loans on or ahead of time. To know more about my Success training and the other events I do, make sure I have your card. Jane Jones, Business Coaching For You.”
Better? Here’s a story with a main character that has a big hairy problem (potentially defaulting on a loan) and a hero that saves the day! And did you notice the call to action at the end? By asking if they want to to know more, Jane has permission to collect cards and add interested parties to her mailing list.
And here’s the best part. Once you have one of these stories done, all you have to do is come up with another six to eight more using the same formula. Yes, just six to eight and then you retell them throughout the year. Here’s what happens.
People look forward to your next story. If they’ve heard it before they go, “Oh yeah, that’s a good one.” If they’re new – and there are always new people at every networking event, then they get the clear message that you really know what you’re doing because you produce results.
Stories create connection so your audience gets to know you, like you, and trust you sooner. Referrals come faster and if someone in the room is a member of another organization that needs speakers, you’re demonstrating your craft.
Try this the next networking event you attend and let me know what happens!