It takes just one-tenth of a second for us to judge someone and make a first impression. Not only are people quick to form first impressions, they are also fairly accurate.
Why making a good first impression matters.
- Enhance others’ perception of you,
- Project trustworthiness,
- Inspire confidence in your abilities
- Exude friendliness,
- Approachability and likeability,
- Open doors to opportunities
Treat Networking Events, Conferences and Exhibitions as ‘Pitching Playgrounds’.
Have fun and experiment with your pitch and most importantly of all keep reminding yourself that you have nothing to fear when presenting it to others. One good way to do this – pretend that you have known this person you are about to introduce yourself to for 6 months already. Also understand that is the reason for your fear…question to yourself what is the worst that can happen?
- They don’t give you a business card….
- they start talking to someone else….
- they smile and wave…
if that is the case they are probably not worth connecting with.
Lastly, understand that the symptoms of being nervous are the same as being excited. Sweaty hands, increased heart rate and respiration. With the physiological arousal being the same for both states of mind, whether you feel anxiety or excitement about a future event is often up to you. Much of it is in the way that you appraise your physiological arousal. In other words, in the meaning you give to it. Hence simply, reframe your thinking from a negative approach, nervous thinking, to a positive mindset that evokes a sense of excitement and enthusiasm.
Remember the Golden Rule number 1
“Look in the eye, shake hand firmly & smile!”
YOU SHAKE HANDS WITH A PERSON NOT A BUSINESS
- INTRO Your name & area of expertise (company / position). Small tip when making the first intro: Aim to repeat name twice in first 10 secs…this will help you remember the name in future.
- YOUR PASSION / WHY you do you what you do? – What gets you up in the morning?
- YOUR PROBLEM / WHAT you do and How it works – What problem do you solve & How does it work!
- YOUR PERSON / YOUR WHO – Give an overview of your ideal customer. Do not be dismayed if the person you are talking to does not seem to fit as your target market. The customer persona you are seeking might well be there best friend!!
To really communicate with purpose we recommend you covering each of the ‘3 P’s’.
- Focussing on solely your passions and your ‘ideal clients’ might be more suitable for dating or time on Tinder!
- Alternatively, just discussing the problems you solve and who you solve them for – you will come across as simply a hard nosed networker and not someone you would gladly do business with.
- And lastly, solely focussing on passions and problems you fall in to the trap of being a ‘Schmooze’. According to Urban Dictionary: To Schmooze (v) to chat in a friendly and persuasive manner especially so as to gain favor, business, or connections. Not the lasting impression you really want to leave.
LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN AND THEN FOLLOW UP!
Ok – so you have both ‘pitched’, (Please, please, please do make sure you listen and pay attention) and you are keen to continue a dialogue we recommend moving on to your 3 I’s.
- Helpful INSIGHT – This could be about the pitch itself, ask for clarity on a point that is not 100% clear . Or it might be a recommendation of a book to read or someone they must contact in relation to their 3-P introduction.
- Shared INTEREST – What are you passionate about outside work? It has been proven that people like to work with people that they have something in common with…begin to explore what this interest could be to take you on to the next base!
- INTERACT – exchange cards / connect on Linkedin. Never leave a ‘contact hanging’ and always be sure to follow up in a professional and personal manner.
Remember the Golden Rule number 2!
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”!
MY EXAMPLE SOCIAL PITCH (I am still practising to make it perfect).
Hi my name is Austin, I am an event & trust architect, CEO of Travel Out There.
OUR PASSION (Vision / Why):
Meaningful experiences are those which are shared; those which bring out the best in people.
We seek to bring out the best of your team, so you can bring out the best of your business.
OUR PROBLEM (Mission / What):
Orchestrate remarkable experiences that inspire change, transform teams and build connections, one business at a time. It is our Network of Competence is your Confidence.
OUR PEOPLE (Target Market / Who):
Our Key Target market / buyer persona is an Executive’s PA who has been given the challenging job to conduct a team building experience or company retreat for their rapidly growing workforce.
They are seeking best practices, big ideas, bold vision and a network of trusted peers to create this shared experience for the team.
Want to find out more -Please take my card.
⁃ I am also Riga United Football Club Founder & board member, keen golfer and father of 2 amazing kids!
Ask for tips and insights from those that are great at the art of pitching!
Like you would if you were playing a sport or learning an instrument. Learn from those who are good. Ask for advice on how they created, rehearsed and developed a pitch that they are evidently very confident and happy with. You would be surprised how willing people are to help share insights and tips on how they mastered the art of pitching effectively.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
Travel Out There can run training workshops that help improve your pitching skills as part of a company retreat or stand alone workshop within a conference.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post and…