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You Only Have 30 Secondsâ€¦
Does your 30 second introduction make you money? After hearing it, do people come to you asking for more information? If you are not sure, or if you already know you need help, read on!
Don't panic – you can accomplish a lot in 30 seconds! You can also be completely forgotten and disregarded before you are even finished. Panicking will not help, however. Education and practice – that's what works. The necessary components of a 30 second introduction include your name, your target and a hook based on benefits. (Depending on your industry and your networking group, other components may be included.) In all components, it is important to remember not to make your listeners think too much. If you have a difficult name for the average person to understand quickly, fix it. If it is your last name, you can just drop it. If it is your first name, see how you can shorten or simplify it. If your name is really unusual or foreign-sounding, the listener gets hung up on it, trying to figure it out. They don't even hear the rest of your intro. The main intention of networking is to get referrals. To get referrals, you need to build relationships by consistently and regularly attending meetings in the same organization, clearly communicating your target market and illustrating the benefits of doing business with you. In the 30 second intro, and everywhere else you market for that matter, your target needs to be narrow and clear and clearly communicated. How can anyone refer business to you if they don't know whom to refer? The individuals who attend networking events are there to build their businesses, just like you. If you make them think too much, they just forget about you. The worst target markets I have ever heard include "anyone with skin" and "anyone with a net worth over $1million." Anyone with skin? Really? She wants me to refer every single person I meet to her? And how will I know a person's net worth? That doesn't exactly come up in casual everyday conversation. People in networking meetings really do want to refer business to as many people as possible – if you make it easy. Everyone I ask says they are really happy to refer business! The third component is often a challenge – the hook. You want people to remember the emotional reaction they had when they heard you. Both direct customers and referral sources need to be enticed by your words. Use the benefits of what you provide to create the hook, and make it provocative. The reason people buy is mostly emotional, so you need them to feel something when they hear you. Using numbers and verbs can accomplish this very well, especially if you are talking about mo'ney. For example, "my clients typically increase their sales by 25% by working with me" makes the listener pay attention! (By the way, don't talk about yourself. Nobody cares about you; they only care about how you can help them!) It is unlikely you will be selling your products/services right there at the networking meeting, but it is very likely you ARE selling the sales meeting to potential direct customers. You want people to make an appointment with you – whether it's the complimentary consultation, the demo or the visit to your store. Creating your 30 second intro is a lot like time management – it's very personal. This means you should not just listen to one person's perception of how to put it together; you should study and gather input from multiple sources. Read more articles, read books, listen to how successful networkers do theirs and cherry pick what will work for you – your personality and your industry. Then – practice, practice, practice! Record yourself, listen to it and practice some more. Test it. If you don't get the response you want, change it, practice it and test it again! Good luck. Copyright (c) 2007 Audrey Burton