What better way to spend your evening at a networking event surrounded by people you don’t know who are eager to know you. Social networking events aren’t always pleasant, but they are much needed when you are launching a startup company. Reasons include putting a face to your company, get new customers, and hope you meet a potential investor.
You’ve probably heard the cliché of having an elevator pitch ready because you never know when you’ll be in the same elevator as Mark Zuckerburg or some other famous investor. Let’s face it the chances of you being in the elevator with someone as rich and powerful as Mark Z is slim to none.
However, you have a higher shot at meeting an investor at a networking event. Instead of preparing your elevator pitch, you should make your social networking event pitch. Let me give you three tips to enhance your social networking event pitch better.
Short and Sweet
You may have less than 30 seconds to introduce yourself and your startup before the person decides to continue the conversation or move on. First, start by introducing yourself, then move on to explain your startup and what you do for the startup. In the introduction, you should have answered what your startup company does and what your startup offers.
Finish off by offering your services or product. You don’t want your pitch to be more than 30 seconds or confusing. The last thing you want is the person to lose interest or get a confused look and not know what your startup is all about.
If the person is interested, they will continue the conversation and ask questions. If not, the person will move on by saying pleasure meeting you and walk on about their business. Don’t take it personally. If there is no interest, you move on to the next person.
Don’t alter your pitch at the same event
Practicing your pitch before a networking event is essential. If you don’t come prepared for the event it will show in your pitch, and people may get turned off. Also, be as accurate as possible with people when giving your pitch.
Do not give one individual one story of your startup and then give another individual a different story. For example, if your selling oranges, don’t tell other people you are selling apples. Most networking events are small, people can overhear, and you don’t want to ruin your first impression with people by telling lies. Be consistent and practice your pitch.
Carry the cards
Before you go to a networking event, get business cards made. There are plenty of websites that sell business cards at low prices. Nothing amazes me more than when people come with no business cards to a networking event. Even more so when people don’t give you their business card as if they hold the keys to the kingdom of unlimited money. Always carry business cards to a networking event. It will show that you mean business and prepared.
I will never forget when I was an undergraduate at a networking event. I met a business professional who handed me her business card, and I gave her back a piece of paper with my information. The disgust in her face told me everything I needed to know that carrying business cards is not optional but a requirement in networking events.
Social networking events may not be your favorite thing to do, but it’s a must when launching your startup company. You don’t have to meet everyone in the room but enough people that will help you grow your business or get the word out. Prepare your social networking pitch before the event, tell a consistent story, and carry business cards. So, what networking event are you preparing for today?
Certified Practitioner of the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile and Innovator Mindset Certified