Stop Making This Networking Mistake And They'll Never Forget You

business communication networking Oct 29, 2022

The purpose of networking is to connect with other business owners and professionals, to find potential partnerships, joint ventures, clients and referral sources. Yet, I see most business owners making the same mistake over and over again which not only negates your efforts but is costing you money. 

[Before reading further, if you prefer to listen to the podcast version of this, you can listen to it here]

The biggest mistake that I see business owners making when they go to networking events is they want to fit everything into their little intro.

Typically, when you go to a networking event, you're given anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute to introduce yourself.  We know that you do lots of things and you can help lots of people. However, when you only have 30 to 60 seconds to talk about your business, if you try to tell us about ALL the things you do, your message becomes really convoluted. It's hard to understand. And then it defeats the purpose of telling us who you are and what you do, because you'll leave us thinking "I have no idea what she does".

We tend to tune out when we're given too much information in a short period of time. So not only are you not being clear by giving us way too much information, but we're also probably thinking about other things and not actually paying attention to you.

The whole purpose giving those introductions is to be compelling. We want to know who you are, who do you serve and what problem do you solve.  And you don't have to give us all of it in one meeting.

Let's say you have five different client avatars for different programs or different products that you offer. You don't have time to tell us about each one of those. You don't have time to tell us about every single product you offer,every problem you can solve, and every type of person you can help. And doing so will only confuse your audience. 

But you do have time to tell us about one.

This is the power of one. Tell us about 1 person you help. 

If you're a coach, and you work with men and women of various age groups, and maybe you have some clients who are teenagers and maybe you work with some seniors and maybe you work with professionals and you also work with stay at home parents, tell us about one of those. Talk to us about one. Maybe it's the stay at home parent who's trying to run a business and you coach them on how to balance their home life and raising their children with starting an at home business. That's specific and specific is memorable. 

What you don't want to do is tell us about all the people you work with.  "Well, I work with teens and parents, and I work with women and I work with men. I work with seniors, I work with people at all different stages of their life professionals, and stay at home parents. I work with people starting an at home business and,  people who are retiring and exiting corporate life. I work with basically anybody". You've given us way too much. And now I don't know when to think of you.

If you want me to remember you after the meeting so that when I'm out in the world talking to people, I could potentially find a referral for your business. If you're telling me that you basically work with everyone and anyone who has a heartbeat and a pulse and can breathe, I'm not going to think of you. But if you tell me "I work with a stay at home parent who is starting at home based business and is trying to balance home life and starting their business and to do it successfully" The next time I'm talking to someone who's a stay-at-home parent who is trying to start an at-home business, I'm going to think of your services and how you can help this person. 

Be specific and talk about one person, not all the people you can help.

The second power of one, talk about one problem you solve.

And again, coaches, I know you love to talk about ALL the problems you can help with. "I work with people with anxiety and people who are burnt out and I work with people who wanna blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." We don't care. Tell us about the one problem, just one problem. And it should be the problem that connects to the client avatar that you're speaking on that day. So if it's the stay-at-home parent who's starting an at-home business, that's your client, what are the problems they're facing? They're struggling to find the balance in running their household and raising their children as well as devoting time and energy to their business and they don't want to burn out trying to do it all. 

Now we know the person you help, and the problem you solve. 

The third power of one; tell us what you service or product you offer that solves the problem. 

Now we know who you work with, a problem you solve and something you offer to solve the problem. Now I know that some of you are sitting there thinking, "but I do so much more than the one thing Teri and I help more than the one person and I solve more than one problem."

Yes, of course, you do. We all do in our businesses, especially today than ever before, we're all multifaceted entrepreneurs. You can go to that networking event multiple times and each time you could target a different client avatar, a different problem and a different solution. Over time, as we get to know you, we will get to know the full scope of what you do and it becomes really clear for us who you help and what you do. I'm not saying that you need to have only one specific person that you work with all the time forever and ever and ever, and only one product you offer and only one problem you work on. I am  saying that when you are networking, it is beneficial for you to stay really laser focused every time you introduce yourself and to focus on one, one person, one problem, one product.

The power of one. 

1 person.

1 problem.

1 product / service.

This does a couple things. First of all, It makes you very memorable to the people who are there because you are so specific and so focused that when we hear those things we're out in the world connecting to people, talking to friends and family, and they're talking about that specific problem, "Oh, I need to connect you with Cheryl because Cheryl is the person who can help you solve this problem and this is what she offers".

Secondly, there's another benefit to doing this that might not be as obvious. You'll know exactly what to say when you give your introduction. One of the things I hear from my clients all the time is "I get so nervous when I go networking because I never know what to say" or "I hate when they ask me to introduce myself because I feel like I just ramble on and I don't know what to talk about." Well, now you have a framework; you know what to talk about. It gives you a bit of a script, doesn't it? I help these people with this problem by doing this thing. That's it. Now we know who you help, what problem you solve and what you offer to solve the problem. And you know exactly what to say when you go networking.

I encourage you to try this out. Give yourself this framework, the power of one. One person, one problem, one product, each and every time you will stand out, and you'll feel more confident because you'll know exactly what to say. I promise that will turn into dollars for you if you are consistently doing it over time. 




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