I host some very popular networking events in locations across the North West of England and I am regularly asked why I refuse to make space for businesses to have a “one minute elevator pitch” at these events.
The “elevator pitch” is like a face to face advert, polished and honed, it is a vestige of the smooth interruption marketing you find on TV.
Think, is a networking event really the kind of place that people are hoping to find adverts?
In short an elevator pitch expresses:
“You need what I am selling and here is why”
But ask yourself…..who likes adverts?
It is like saying, you are only worth deeper conversation with me once I have “qualified you”…as a person, you are not worth my time…unless you want what I am selling.
In a room full of potentially vivid conversations, who would want to listen to an advert?
If all markets are conversations (and they are) then surely the more conversations you are having at every level…the more seeds are being planted and the more potential business you are opening yourself up to.
And that is why you go to networking events, to start great conversations, some of them are not immediately valuable, but may pay off in the longer term.
Great conversations are built on listening. Have you ever finished a conversation that you enjoyed thinking, “…that was marvellous, the person I was conversing with never stopped talking”…?
No, neither have I.
Just like nobody sells from the home page of their website and nobody sane “gets married” on a first date, nobody will buy from you the first time you meet them at a networking event.
In order for them to buy from you, they have to “know, like and then trust” you…in that order.
And having great conversations is how you start that process.
So…next time you are out networking, scrap the Elevator Pitch and try the following question…
“Hi, what is it that you do….?”
….and see where that takes you.
Thank you for reading.
To download a free step by step blueprint showing you how to turn conversations into customers and many other hints tips and secrets, join the mailing list at my website.
Photo by Apple Eyes Studio at Freedigitalphotos.
About Neil Simpson
Following a 15 year career as a freelance performer in professional dance, film and unprofessional comedy, Neil retired in 2001 and has since built a career assisting creative businesses grow by helping them turn their ideas into money.
Specialising in ideation, branding and social media particularly within small businesses Neil has worked with creatives in the UK and internationally, has won a national award for film making and is a published author.