So many times I meet someone at a business event and they go right into how awesome their product is and why I need it.
When I ask someone what they do in their business, I’m looking to get an idea of who they are. Not to listen to a 30 minute infomercial about how awesome they are.
I remember an event I went to a few years ago where I asked a girl what she did and she spend 5 minutes non-stop talking about how they were social media managers and how great they were, all the things they could do for me and how much value I was going to get by using them.
(seriously, it was non-stop. I’m not sure this poor girl even stopped for a breath between sentences.)
Now, I’m all for being enthusiastic about your products and services. I totally get that. I’m known to go into a excitement frenzy about things as well. But.. this girl went into full on pitch mode without even asking anything about me. She had no clue if I was interested in what she had to offer. She hadn’t even asked my name or found out what I did to cater her message more to my business.
The funny thing was after her entire pitch, (most of which I was really not interested in and actually quite bored with the fast paced pitch), she finally stopped to ask what I did.
My response… “I teach entrepreneurs how to market their business using the tools they already have access to like social media so they don’t have to waste the money to hire a marketing agency that won’t give them the results they deserve”
(AKA Pretty much her)
She really didn’t know what to say about that. I wasn’t trying to be mean to her specifically but I did want to get a point across. She was so into her pre-scripted pitch she forgot to ask the important questions that need to happen in the beginning…
What’s the problem this person has?
Do my products help them solve it?
What value can I add to their life right now?
These are the basic questions you need to think about in any first contact with a person. You never know if they are in need of your product or service until you talk to them. You need to know them and their business first.
Then, and only then, do you have enough information to know if your product is the right fit for them.
Most of the time, you don’t have time to gather all this in the 5 minutes you get with someone while networking. It takes time. It takes a conversation in a place with less distractions. It takes building the relationship first.
That’s why networking opportunities are best served as “connection” tools. Walk in the door with the goal to meet people and connect further AFTER the event.
Meet them for coffee. Stop by their office. Even a phone call is a better time to get to know them and their needs.
Networking is to make great connections. Not to pitch your stuff.
About The Author:
Ely Delaney is a dad, Best Selling author, speaker, marketing consultant and Founder/CEO of Your Marketing University. His goal is to teach marketing in a simple easy to understand format businesses can use to help gain marketing ideas & market their businesses to boost sales.
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