Number One Networking Tip ….Mastering the “Elevator Speech”!
The question is…”so Tom – what do you do?”. Rightly or wrongly… what “we do” defines us in the marketplace/work force/conversational world…and it is hard to find a time when that question isn’t asked. Whether you meet someone leaving church… in the gym locker room ….or over coffee in the local diner…that is often one of the first snippets of conversation to take place with a stranger.
You really need to have a good… and brief… response ready to roll off your tongue! While your expertise in responding might be less important over coffee at the diner than in a business networking situations… but … is it really?? Networking is networking – your objective is always the same – to establish a relationship however brief with others. Brief because it is the first contact… from there both parties decide whether to just file away the business card…or to continue the dialogue.
This is sometimes referred to as an “elevator speech” because you can deliver it in the time it takes to ride an elevator to your destination. Which means it is no longer than 30 seconds!
Like anything else you are going to do a number of times…it makes great sense to figure out the best way to do it…then “cook book” it. Use the coffee shop type of dialogue example as a chance to hone your response.
My elevator speech?
Thank you for asking. I am in the business of helping organizations get the work done by providing both temporary workers and direct hire placement services to fill job openings. As a matter of course doing this, we find people jobs. We work in four specialty areas – accounting/finance – legal – healthcare and office administration.
Shake me awake in the middle of the night and ask me the question and these fifty-three words just come out!
One of the outcomes of effective networking and a great network is the ability to parlay that into interviewing opportunities. Remember the Six degrees of separation theory; that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum (usually) of six steps.
Your elevator speech is an opening comment to the entire network building process; the network that can yield you opportunities in the “hidden and unpublished” job market….to get the job offer you want!
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