Oh, the elevator pitch.
You know the one. It's the canned 30-second soliloquy that someone told you that you needed in order to be successful at networking and sales.
You may have spent years working and reworking it - figuring out how to jam in your value proposition while also sprinkling your charm into this icky little sales pitch that makes you cringe every time you have to deliver it.
No wonder so many people avoid networking events!
I remember in my early years of being an entrepreneur - I faithfully showed up at the monthly networking event hosted by the local chamber of commerce. I would have the same awkward interactions with the same people month after month. The worst part was that they wouldn't even remember meeting the previous month or that we had already exchanged business cards.
One evening the host tapped on the microphone..."Thanks so much for coming out this evening. Networking events like this are the lifeblood of building your business so, tonight, we're going to set a timer and for the next 15 minutes, I want you to collect as many business cards as possible! Go!!!"
Barf me out.
That was one of the last nights I ever attended.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not diminishing the importance of networking as a way of building your business. In fact, I feel it's one of the most important things you can do. I'm just saying that if you're going to network, do it in a way that feels good and creates results (and no, leaving with a fistful of random business cards does not equal results).
I really should go back and thank the host from that evening. His comments were the catalyst I needed to stop going through the motions of what I was being told was effective networking and instead, get intentional about how I could do it in a way that felt good and created results.
Here are some of the things that I did:
I threw my "elevator pitch" away. No more contrived, self-serving boring AF speech for me!
I got really selective on what type of events I attended instead of just filling a quota by RSVPing to every event that came along.
I shifted my mindset from a space of getting to a space of genuine curiosity and service.
I focused on quality over quantity. As a result, I quickly started building relationships, not business card collections.
Fast forward 15 years and we all know that the networking scene has evolved - social media platforms create 24/7 networking opportunities and the pandemic removed in-person networking events in the blink of an eye, replacing them with virtual events.
I'm happy to see that in-person events are returning after a 3-year hiatus. The energy shared in those spaces is powerful.
Whether in-person or online - showing up as my authentic self and engaging in real, whole-hearted conversation remains the key to building a great network for my business.
We’re living in a time when it’s easier than ever to build relationships with like-minded people from all over the world! What an amazing time to be in business!
The question is: Are you leveraging this opportunity? If not, why not? If it's because you're still stuck in the ick of the old way of networking - it's time to change the script!
My Masterclass: Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch is a great way to re-wire your mindset and get you out of the ick! This 2-session, on-demand content will guide you in reframing how you approach networking and provide you with the tools to show up confidently in a way that feels good and also serves your business.