When speed networking, you have a very brief amount of time with a partner, between 1 to 2 minutes. That means you need to keep an eye on your time and instead of spilling everything, have a focus, well rehearsed “Elevator Pitch”
To get that elevator pitch, figure out what it is you have to offer the other person, your product or service and write it down in key format. Then eliminate everything that is fluff and go directly for a focused presentation that says who you are and what you offer. Be sure to have a business card to exchange that has complete contact info and possibly a reminder of your service you offer.
Once you have the pitch figured out, practice it a few times in front of the mirror, the dog, your spouse, the kids, and you are then ready to go. But what if you are having some problems or the exchange does not go as planned? Here are are a few ideas:
1. Slow speakers: You need to be able to speak fast AND be understood. So the best thing will be practice. Fast speakers, you may want to slow the motor mouth if people have a hard time understanding you when you get on a roll.
2. Take too much time: Let the other person go first so they get their time in. Then you get the rest. Just be prepared to stop mid sentence and hand over your card so you can head to your next partner. Remember the idea is to get your focused concept of WHAT you offer to your client. Save the explanation for a follow up, which is a great reason to get their card and follow up later in the week with a quick email.
3. Shy and hesitant: If you are shy, you may be willing to sit there and let the other person go to town. But if they don’t want to let you get your word in edgewise, do stand up for yourself. Be polite but firm with it’s a “my turn”.
4. The Other Person: be remembered and show more interest in what the other person does than what you do. By finding out what they offer and following up later in the week on what they do, they will remember you better.
It’s not hard and after your first two rounds, you will be very comfortable. Be sure to take time to prepare, write out the pitch, read it, and practice it. Write out a cheat sheet to take with you so you will stay on point, get your message across and stay within your allotted time.
Note our 3rd Annual Speed Networking to Benefit the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation will be held at the Tuesday December 13th meeting of Mid-America Association of Real Estate Investors. There is no charge for the meeting, however we do ask that all attendees bring a new unwrapped toy to help us reach our goal of 4 heaping boxes of toys. Click here to RSVP so we have a solid idea of how many people will be participating in the evening.