Networking Time. Are You Prepared?

Networking events are great opportunities to meet lots of people in a short period of time. But how do you make yourself stand out above the rest? There are some great ways to prepare and have some fun too! 

Many people attend networking events and association meetings to make sure they start the business year right. These events typically provide a great way for you to meet a lot of people in a short time. To get the most out of these events, don’t expect an extended opportunity to introduce yourself and what you do—you’ll usually only have a minute or two. Believe it or not, it’s hard to give a short intro that sets you apart from the crowd, so it’s critical to prepare in advance.

In initial meetings with potential colleagues or clients, less is more. Think of your time as a commercial, or even a teaser. Save the data dump for the second or third meeting—just include enough pertinent information to get your listener’s attention. Be smart; be memorable; be concise, and above all—be yourself.

What does the typical personal introduction sound like? Hi, my name is John Doe, and I’m the regional manager for XYZ Services. XYZ is a commercial and residential restoration service. Similar to others in our industry, we help restore your home or business if you’ve had a flood, fire or storm damage. We’ve been doing this for years, we’ve got modern equipment, and our service is usually covered by your homeowner’s insurance. So, if you ever have fire or flood damage in your home, please give us a call.

Not bad, but does it grab your attention? We encourage our clients to start presentations and speeches with POW! Statements—short, memorable openings that get your listeners intrigued right from the start. At networking events, your entire introduction — similar to an elevator pitch—is a POW! Statement. Here’s how John might have made more of an impact:

It’s 5:30am, and you head down to your basement for your morning workout. You notice a funky smell as you descend the stairs, and when your foot hits the floor—SQUISH! Your basement carpeting is now a wet sponge, having soaked up an inch of water thanks to that old hot water heater you’ve meant to replace for the last two years. What do you do? Where do you begin? You call me—my name is John Doe with XYZ Services, your restoration specialist. When you suffer damage from fire, flood or storms, our team of experts has the tools, knowledge and experience to quickly restore your home or business to its original condition.

It’s best to come up with a number of creative openers you can use for different situations. If you plan to attend several networking events in the coming months, be sure to vary your approach to each. Change your opening story a bit each time, open with a different statistic or metaphor, or use a different joke. People who attend the same events with you will appreciate hearing something unique each time, and will actually look forward to your introduction, knowing that something creative is coming their way.

Looking for a creative way to spice up your own personal introduction? Send us an email or give us a call!

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