How to Prepare for Business Networking

Depending on the size of the event, most networking meetings allow each person between 10 seconds and 2 minutes for a personal commercial. There are always those people who have a commercial which is planned and well rehearsed. Those people stand out, don’t they? They exude confidence, authority and expertise. They seem as if they’re ready for business.

Preparation is the Key to Creating Opportunity at Networking Events

People who attend Small Business U events are serious about personal development and business. As a result they make great networking partners.

People who attend Small Business U events are serious about personal development and business. As a result they make great networking partners.

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Confucius (and Tony Robbins) said luck is where preparation and opportunity meet. If we show up to networking meetings we are walking into an environment which presents opportunity. That’s why we attend. We are going to get out of it what we put into it. If we go in unprepared, what can we expect? We must present our business, our ideal type of client and the benefits of doing business with us clearly and concisely.

Your Networking Commercial, aka Elevator Speech

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By being prepared in this manner, we’re going to make the most of each and every investment of time and money to attend networking events. When we make the investment of time to clarify the most important and compelling speech, given 10 seconds, 30, 60 and 120, we’re going to increase the chance of attracting new customers every single time we make the presentation. Stumbling, stammering and searching for the right words aren’t going to compel anyone to hire you for your services or refer you to their contacts.

Show up prepared. Dress appropriately. Make eye contact with people around the room as you speak. You’ll feel confident. You’ll look confident, positive, and successful. With every event you attend will come the increased chance of attracting new business and referrals.

Preparing a Good Elevator Speech or Personal Commercial

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Here’s an exercise you can do which will help you deliver a good networking commercial. Answer these questions in a way you can deliver the answers quickly and backed with a tone of confidence and authority. Use any of them alone or string them together as a networking commercial depending on the time permitted at the event.

1. Who do you serve? Who is your ideal client? If you’re in a room with 50 people at a networking event you will usually only get 10 seconds to state your name and your business name. You can still have time to squeeze in your ideal client especially when you have already eyeballed someone in the room with whom you would like to meet or work.

2. Who is your ideal referral partner? By announcing your ideal referral partners, you’re expanding your reach because you’re potentially tapping into another business-persons cache of clients and connections. When given 30-seconds, you can logically tie in the ideal client plus the ideal referral partner.

3. What is your special talent, expertise or value proposition? This is where the rubber meets the road. Benefits rule here. Be conscious of keeping this message about the benefits your prospective clients can expect as a result of your expertise. This commercial can tie together the facts in the others and consume a minute or two.

Practice this. Regardless of the venue, format or occasion, being prepared with a brief and cogent commercial will always serve you well.

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