When networking, never attempt to tell your whole life story or every detail of the products and services you sell (or would like to sell today). This is a sure-fire way to kill any opportunity for a networking relationship to develop.
You must suspend the transaction temptation in favor of starting an interesting conversation that can lead to a more meaningful relationship. That’s the art of networking.
- So, how do you start a conversation?
- What can you say about yourself that will engage the other person?
- How do you position yourself in such a way as to attract the right kind of people to you?
Does your elevator pitch pass the MR ABE test?
Let’s focus on the first element of MR ABE. That is, the M factor.
- How can you make yourself memorable?
- How can you stand out in a crowd of people at a networking event when you have only 30-60 seconds to position yourself?
Think back on your last networking meeting. What did you say about yourself? Do you even remember? If not, the chances are the other people don’t remember either.
Something you say has to stick in their minds after you stop talking. Wouldn’t it be great if you determined that ahead of time (before the blah-blah-blah takes over?)
Imagine that you know what you want to stick. You know how you want to be positioned in their minds? You’ve decided ahead of time. That’s the M factor.
It’s about planning to be memorable. Being memorable starts with being selective. Knowing what you want to stand for. Being single minded for that moment. Maybe it’s your brand. Maybe it’s your specialty. Maybe it’s the particular kind problem you just love solving. Maybe it’s your store location or your web site address? Maybe it’s your value proposition as expressed by your favorite client?
Whatever it is, it needs to be singularly focused, uncluttered by unnecessary detail (you know, the blah, blah, blah)
Now ask yourself this question: How do I want to be remembered?
Congratulations! You’ve just moved one step closer to having more M factor in your networking introduction. You are closer to perfecting your pitch!
photo credit: www.flickr.com – Leo Reynolds. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/2230962501/