Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stand Out when you Stand Up

How often does this happen to you? You go to a networking event and one-by-one, every attendee stands up and says, "My name is Joe and I do _________". It's what everyone tends to do, so everyone follows along. If I am not in the market for _____________, Joe may have just given me permission to tune him out.

Let me give you some simple tips to help you stand out in those networking crowds.

1. Paint a mental picture. If you are a travel agent and you live in a cold climate - tell the group to imagine themselves digging their bare feet into a sandy beach. Be creative. Try different scenarios and guage the reaction.

2. Ask an interesting, interest piqueing question. Be original. If you are a financial planner, don't ask something trite, like "Who has all the money they need?" Obviously, the answer will be no one. I have a friend who is a financial planner who asks questions about planning a vacation...then at the end of her "commercial" she brings it back to how we are planning for the longest vacation of our lives, our retirement. I hope you see the difference.

3. Sell through the room, not to the room. (credit to BNI for this one) It's not usually about who you know, but who they know. If you focus on the outside of the room people, it takes the pressure off those who are actually in the room listening to you.

4. Nobody likes to be sold, but they all want to buy. For some reason, we like it when it's our idea. :-)

5. Focus on one specialty. If you focus on one thing you do for your clients, it's much easier for the people in the room to think of that one thing and someone they might know who needs that. If you have more than one business - as many people do - choose one to market.

What items would you add to this list? I've just listed a few!