How To Sell Yourself Effectively At Networking Events

Networking is all about making it easier for people to recommend one another. It is not about selling directly to the person you’ve just met; that can be embarrassing as few people go to a networking event to buy. Most, in fact, go to sell.

Your objective has to be to encourage those you meet to effectively be sold on you as a professional and refer you on.

Encouraging people to refer you:

• enables you to gain something from meeting people not in a position to buy from you

• Improves your success rate tenfold if the person you meet recommends you to ten people

• builds your network of ‘weak ties’; if you then use social media to keep in touch with them.

Your Elevator Pitch

Your elevator pitch is your verbal business card. It’s the way you introduce yourself to others and sell yourself effectively at a networking event. The elevator pitch is so called because it has to be very concise, short enough in fact to be delivered in a lift before the person you’ve bumped into gets out on the tenth floor. As with so much of selling, your elevator pitch has to quickly and effectively communicate what you want the person you’ve just me to:

• know – about you and what you do

• think – how this might be useful to them or others in the future

• do – as a result of meeting you

More often than not, you deliver your elevator pitch by way of introduction and setting the scene for the conversation that follows. To do this using the following structure will help you:

1. Start with your name – and repeat it again at the end of your pitch. If someone’s listening carefully to what you say, they may well forget your name before you finish. Saying it at both start and finish makes it easy for them to pick up the conversation with a question.

2. Say what you do. For many people, this is still surprisingly difficult to do. That’s because they describe their role in too much detail. Just say what you do and keep it simple.

3. Describe why you’re different. This is really important because it is where you differentiate yourself from others who do similar things. For example, if you work at a real estate company, you might specialise in luxury apartments. If you are a manager in a large organisation, you might also have an MBA or be a chartered manager.

4. Say what you are looking for or offering. Always end with a request for help (or how you can help) that is realistic and not a direct sales pitch to the person you’re talking to. The real estate agent might say, ‘I’m looking for more groups to talk to about how I can help them get the best exclusive real estate investment and don’t mind speaking at a short notice.’

Remember to also contain a benefit in your pitch e.g. as a real estate agent you are willing to talk at short notice. This means that, when people hear of a speaker having to cancel somewhere, they will be more likely to recommend them. Good Luck with your pitch!

Head of Business Development for Bizpreneur Middle East. #1 Joint Venture Expert | JV Introducer | Deal Maker | HNWI Advisor | Investor | Speaker | International Best Selling Author.