Your 60 second pitch: what to say to your regular networking audience

People, including yours truly here, love to talk about elevator speeches and how awful they can be. But whether or not we regard them scornfully they are an intrinsic, and immovable, part of our business networking culture.

Your 60 second pitch: what to say to your regular networking audience

To repeat the same 60 seconds’ worth of words more than once or twice is going to bore people.

How your 60 second pitch comes across at a networking event is something many people agonize over, and polish to the enth degree. And that’s fine, provided that each time you get up to do your 60 second pitch you’re talking to a fresh audience.

But what happens when many in that audience have heard your 60 second pitch before? Some maybe several times?

A series of 60 second pitches

Before you think “oh, my – what else can I say about what I do and how I help people?” … consider this.

Do you really only do one thing?

Do you only have one customer or client?

Do you really just have one product or service?

No – not when you start thinking about it. And that’s where some creative thinking helps a lot.

People who have heard your 60 second pitch before

The bad news is that for you to repeat the same 60 seconds’ worth of words more than once or twice is going to bore those people, and make them think you’re a one-trick pony.

The good news is that if they have seen and heard you before they’ll know roughly what you do, so you don’t need say more than a quick reminder each time. (You can always catch up with any newbies in the group later, to fill them in.)

[ctt title=”Ergo, each time you get up to do your 60 second pitch to the same group you can use most of the time to tell a very brief story, or focus on a particular element of your work and how it helps customers / clients with those corresponding needs.” tweet=”Ergo, each time you get up to do your 60 second pitch to the same group you can use most of the time to tell a very brief story, or focus on a particular element of your work and how it helps customers/clients with those corresponding needs.” coverup=”f68aG”]

Welcome: the 60 second pitch series

Here are a few ideas on how some of the networkers I know use the serial 60 seconder approach – to excellent effect, even though they network in groups that meet either once or twice a month.

**A colleague who is a former TV presenter and newsreader now teaches business people how to perform in TV and radio interviews, as well as how to make their own videos for their websites, video blogging, etc. He tops and tails his pitch with the name of his company and in the middle picks up on a recent PR or other media disaster, how the person goofed on TV or video, and what he would have advised instead. Interesting because it’s topical and demonstrates his expertise. (OK, sometimes we go over the 60 seconds!)

**A client who runs a home-making and concierge agency sought my advice on how she could keep up interest in her work once a month in a women’s business networking group to which we both belong here in the UK. I found a couple of fascinating books – one about home-making 100 years ago, and one about home-making during WW2 – and she is now sharing snippets of how things were done all those years ago and in such different circumstances. Everyone in our group looks forward to her new snippet each month.

**Another client specialises in interpretation of video surveillance footage from CCTV for police forces and lawyers. After introducing himself as “the professional voyeur,” he often shares a quick anecdote of how his expertise helped convict – or clear – a criminal. Fascinating stuff!

How you can serialize your 60 second pitch

Here is an aide memoire to help you pick out elements of your business that you could focus on to create a series of 60 second pitches. (Bear in mind that even if you speak quickly you still need to keep the content down to no more than about 150 words tops. Fewer words than that if you speak slowly or tend to ad lib.)

**How many different products and services do you offer?

**What different problems do you solve / have you solved for your clients/customers?

**What interesting historical snippets can you share about your business?

**What famous people were involved in / affected by your business, both now and in the past?

**How could you have solved a problem that recently has been shared in your local media?

**What plans have you got for the future of your business that your clients will find very useful?

Networking pitches to a regular audience: not about selling in the first instance

It’s important that you don’t forget why networking for business works: it’s not about selling. It’s about letting people get to know, like and trust you enough to buy from you and/or refer you to their own contacts who could use your products or services.

When you network regularly with a group of business people, serializing your 60 second pitches helps a lot to gain the group’s confidence …

a) because it shows that you respect them enough not to bore them with the same spiel every week, two weeks, month or whatever

b) because you are demonstrating that there is more to you and your business than just one silo-like concept

c) because you are sharing deeper, more interesting elements of your business that help to underscore your professionalism

Sounds like a 60 second networking win-win?

I think so. Do you? Please share your views!

PS: For further reading about networking and referrals, you may like to check out this excellent blog by Jacky Sherman of The Referral Institute

 

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  1. Thanks for sharing a great article. Have to keep your elevator pitch fresh somehow, and I am going to try your tips on how to serialize the 60-second pitch!

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  2. […] combined skills cover every aspect of empowering your #referability. It includes your performance face-to-face, in writing, and on camera, making sure your messages are consistent […]

  3. […] combined skills cover every aspect of empowering your #referability. It includes your performance face-to-face, in writing, and on camera, making sure your messages are consistent […]

  4. […] OK – I do go on at length about how important it is to get your 60 second pitch (elevator pitch) honed to perfection if you want to come across as believable, referable and […]

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