Are you filled with dread when you have 60 seconds to encapsulate exactly what it is you? Do you feel like you’ve been caught in headlights?
Generally speaking, if you’re in business, regardless of your role you might have to attend a networking event at some point in your career.
Here we aim to explain how you can put together a 60 seconds script that will win over the room at your next event.
A really common mistake is to scramble against the clock to tell a room full of people EVERYTHING you do. Why is telling people what you do so bad? I know the whole point of going is to let people know what you’re all about, but if you try to cram it all into 60 seconds, it becomes confusing and rushed – definitely not the impression you want to make. You’ll leave more of your fellow networkers leaving wondering what you actually do than knowing why they should connect with or refer you.
ARE THEY LISTENING?
Do you feel like you have the attention of the room? How can you tell if people are engaged with you? You don’t want to be looking at a room full of shuffling, eye rolling, phone tapping and yawning. Instead you should be aiming for open body language, eye contact, and smiles – all good signs that people are focussing on you.
ASK A QUESTION
It doesn’t have to be complicated, a simple “Who here has to file tax return?” In this example, you should receive an audible response to gauge who was listening and who you may now seek to connect with.
It could be random, “What is Einstein’s theory of relativity?” You’re not expecting anyone to answer of course, but you will likely grab peoples attention as it will be unexpected.
Perhaps you will open with a direct question “Who here is not getting the service they want from their current accountant? Follow this with a script that tells the room what makes you different and most importantly how you can help them.
Using a script can divide a room. Unless you are a seasoned networker who can ‘wing it’ without confusion we would always recommend using a script. Take some time to structure it and make sure you cover your key points, and don’t forget your ‘call to action’ – this is the bit that tells everyone how they can help you! If you know what you’re saying, you will also project your most confident self which in turn gains the confidence of others in the room. Using a script doesn’t necessarily mean reading from the page – practice makes perfect – if you have the time to commit to memory, go for it!
This is the classic don’t ask, don’t get situation. If your offering is rather broad, try targeting a specific area. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to be successful. Do not be afraid to ask for a particular type of client referral whether by demographic or industry. When networking, you have a captive audience, they might not know they need your services, but once you speak they should feel like they want to follow up. Over time the relationship should build and if you’re doing it right you should become a trusted colleague that they happily refer.
MIX IT UP
Ask yourself – if someone said the same thing to you every time you met, would you eventually switch off? The answer is of course – yes! The next time you are writing your script, add some creative flair to it. Try asking a colleague to write it for you for a different perspective. You will have material to use from what happens in your business every day – you just need to tune into it, from client problems to staff solutions and new introductions, these things can all help to shape your script and give it a distinct flavour that wins over your fellow networkers.
If you’ve struggled previously to see a return on your investment in networking, try using some of our handy hints the next time you think about what you’re going to say when you have 60 seconds to cover ‘everything’ you do.
Did you know we offer business networking across Suffolk and in North Essex too? Contact Sharon.firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about our monthly networking events where our business community connect, collaborate and build genuine business relationships.