The holiday season is upon us and, for most of us, the month is filled with offices parties, holiday events, and good cheer. It is also an ideal time to network.
Most people are relaxed and in a cheerful mood. Unless someone is completely inebriated, it could be a good time to casually talk about business. No hard pitches; just a quick 30-second elevator pitch about your business. With the eggnog in one hand and your business card in the other, be prepared to talk shop and perhaps make a sale or at least a good contact to follow up with later.
Here are some brief tips:
Listen up. First, listen to what the people you are engaging are talking about and show interest. Engage them in conversation about things that interest them. You will be able to tailor a pitch with the information you just gathered.
Use the KISS Method. Keep it Simple Stupid. Tell them who you are, what you do or offer, why it could help them, or why they would need it. That’s about how much you can accomplish in just 30 seconds and it should be enough to entice the individual to learn more about your offerings.
Watch your words. Remember, you have about 30 seconds to make the pitch, so you need to use your words wisely. Start writing a few key words and statements that explain what you do. Practice them on friends and colleagues. Keep in mind, action words are important. You might want to give them a simple tip that would help them. Free tips are always appreciated!
Know your audience. Tailor your pitch to your audience. Your products and services may be useful to a wide variety of people and industries, but each has specific needs. A corporation may be different from government, and someone in construction may have different needs than someone in real estate. You want to leave the person wanting more information, not feeling relieved you stopped talking.
Be Authentic. Remember the old adage — people do business with people they like and trust. So relax, have fun and be yourself.
Vanessa Denha-Garmo is a writer, speaker, consultant, reporter, talk show host and producer, and founder of Denha Media and Communications. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.