Number One Networking Tip ….Mastering the “Elevator Speech”!

Number One Networking Tip ….Mastering the “Elevator Speech”!

Elevator-SpeechAs you meet people for the rest of your days… as you network your way through life… there is a question you will be asked countless times.

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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Strengthen Your Network…To Get That Job Offer!

Strengthen Your Network…to Get That Job Offer!

Often it will be via your network that your next job offer will materialize. You use your network to make connections that lead to job leads. Don’t overlook the “six degrees of separation” theory * ….where a friend of a friend, etc. can lead to you talking to the right person at the right time!

Building your network never ends and requires diligence to follow through on every-day events. Yet it is a most worthwhile endeavor. Leveraging your career is aided greatly by the breadth and quality of your network!

The following is adapted from an article by Lauren Thaler as appeared in the newsletter of BizConnect – a Washington, DC networking organization (http://www.bizconnectonline.com/).  Many thanks to Lauren and BizConnect for letting me share it with you! BizConnect is an organization worth looking into to expand your networking contacts!

networkingEffective networks can make a huge difference in your personal growth and success.  To say nothing of getting Final Four tickets, a physician referral while on vacation and a host of other very useful and practical end-results!

Lauren has some great thoughts how to improve and grow yours!! Read on…..

Strengthen Your Network by Lauren Thaler

As a motivated networker, you have likely given a lot of thought to how you network. Which networking groups and events should you join? How do you introduce yourself to a new contact? What is your approach to following up with potential clients or referral sources?

There is a lot of strategy behind networking—that’s for sure. And if you are like other network-minded people, you probably give more time and attention to these types of thoughts than the average working professional. In fact, it may sometimes feel like you already know everything there is to know about networking! Well – here are two ways to strengthen your network that you may not have thought of yet.

Consider building your network on personal interests and passions you enjoy instead of professional similarities like industry, organization, or job level. As Patricia Fletcher of Inc. Magazine astutely points out, “Our long-term constants provide the base from which we can grow into successful entrepreneurs and contributors to society.” Therefore, building your network on these constants may offer a better foundation than building your network on variables; your job and your industry of focus may very well change in the years to come.

You may have heard the next piece of networking advice, but we’re going to really dig into it and provide a new angle that you may not have thought of before. Traditional networking guidance suggests that we should try to meet new contacts based on what we would like to receive from them in the form of sales and referrals. However, have you considered a slightly different approach—Instead of using a method of what can be gained from others, consider an approach that puts you in charge of delivering the value. By helping or bringing value to others first, you are boosting your social capital and making a strong first impression. Being known as a giver instead of a taker often means that you will get more in return in the form of referrals, introductions and ultimately sales opportunities.

Have you tried these strategies before? If so, was there a noticeable improvement to your networking experiences? If you haven’t thought of growing your network in these ways, give them a try.     ########

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For jobs and career opportunities in the Washington, DC metro area –  visit the NRI website. Many jobs are listed there …..and NRI Recruiters can find others for you!

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Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved

* Six degrees of separation is the 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 of six steps.