Stop boring people at networking events - start engaging them.

Last night I was invited to a networking cocktail party.  It was a carbon copy of probably a thousand other parties happening the same night: cocktails, appetizers, and elevator pitches. 

Like most groups, the room was filled with great professionals who do quality work for their clients and have interesting products.  They had rehearsed their elevator pitches to get them down to just over twice the allotted thirty seconds.  They genuinely want to help each other build business, promote each other and improve each other's marketing.  

And like most groups, each minute-long spiel started with something like my name is x, my firm is y and we do z.  Sometimes they’d throw in the number of years they have been doing business. 

They almost always start off with something like I am Joe, I work for real estate-r-us selling property and we have been in business for 62 and a half years. 

And despite my best intentions, my mind tuned out so quickly that after 2 or 3 of these introductions I was counting how many people were left at the party and estimating the time to finish.  

And fighting back a yawn.  

Unsuccessfully.  

Then I heard, “my clients are entrepreneurs and business owners who want to get more from their business and more from life, but are trapped by chaos, confusion and stuck in their heads.” Instantly I started to pay attention. 

She was talking about me… she went on to explain how her process worked and invited me (well us, but it felt like she was talking to me) to talk to her to learn more. 

I did.  

And right there was the power of the story.  Out of the sea of cards, introductions, names, and professions, I can now remember exactly one. 

Because she told a story that mattered to me. 

However you are marketing your business, whether through a $100 million multinational advertising campaign or a 30-second spiel over cocktails in a midtown bar stories are what connect.  Promote yourself and enhance your marketing through crafting a story. 

Be the one that stands out.

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Jeff LoehrComment