You’ve taken the leap and decided to attend a networking event. You've practiced your business introduction. Now comes the fun: stepping into a room full of strangers. As you go over your introduction in your mind, seemingly out of nowhere someone says hello and you freeze!
Did you just start sweating? Clammy hands? Getting that overwhelmed feeling?
It’s Ok, take a few deep breaths. Relax. You too can beat the fear of public speaking. It just takes some planning and practice.
If you create a strong business introduction for yourself that leads to a conversation, then you’ve tackled the hardest part about networking. You only have seconds to get people to care about you and your business. Just like the first impression you give with your web site, a thoughtful, interesting “Hello, my name is” is everything.
But, first you’ve got to show that you care about them.
Let’s say you’re at your first networking lunch. You have an exciting opportunity to chat with the person sitting next to you. What you say to introduce yourself could mean the difference between a short exchange and a deeper, engaging conversation.
Keep in mind that the goal of networking is not to gather sales leads, but to strike up conversations that lead to a business relationship. A short business introduction will create awareness, interest, and get you to the next step.
Your introduction should lead you to a conversation that allows you to educate the person next to you about your business and how it could potentially help them.
Here’s how to create an effective introduction that’ll start a business conversation – and what to avoid.
But, you just can't rattle off all of these points without taking a breath! The idea is to engage in a real conversation. That’s the only way two people will find out if what they have to offer, or need, fits the other.
By the way, these tips work for email networking and over the phone too.
Now, let’s put it all together with an example.
Before: "My name is Sue. I’m the owner of Tax Helpers. I’ve been practicing accounting for 15 years and can help anyone get the most out of their tax return. I’d enjoy helping you with your taxes." Snooze.
After: "My name is Sue and I work with business owners to remove the stress of Uncle Sam’s hand dipping in their pockets. They keep more of their hard-earned money with my help. I recently worked with a small manufacturer to reduce their tax liability by 21% by modifying the way they record expenses. I’d be happy to send you a report that gives tips on how to reduce taxes with simple changes in your accounting.”
Do you see the difference? There are no opportunities for questions with the “before” version. The “after” introduction allows for pauses so the other person can ask questions such as, "Really, how do you do that?” Now, you have a conversation going! You may never “finish” the business introduction you so carefully planned, but in this case that a good thing!
Now you can schedule the rest of the month’s networking opportunities without a moment’s hesitation. With some practice, your introduction will roll off your tongue with ease, and your business will reflect your confidence.
How do you introduce yourself at networking events? Do you enjoy networking or does it give you sweaty palms?
Share your thoughts and tips. Or tell your story about how you do this for your business.
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Thanks - Identifying Customers Needs
Interesting. Thanks for the información.
Great article on building a business introduction!
Hi Ron - Great points! Like anything else, it always helps to be prepared. I like your example at the end to show how this works in action.
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