When meeting someone new at a networking event it is easy to get dragged into a long conversation that leads nowhere. The result is a wasted morning with little to show for it.
Wouldn’t it be better if you could get to know someone and get asked to talk them through one of their pressing problems?
Here is the technique I use .. and it works almost every time.
If asked what I do I don’t launch into the old and tired “I’m a marketing consultant and have been in business for xx number of years” routine. I say something like, “the easiest way to explain is to tell you about a recent client; they had a problem with high marketing spend and few results and we were able to cut their spend by 20% and increase sales by 31%. They liked the results so much we are now working on other projects with them”.
Almost without fail the other person will ask how I achieved these results and a conversation ensues.
If I don’t get the “What do you do?” question I ask them what their biggest challenge is at the moment. If it seems to be taxing them, and we have the experience to help, I say something like, We’ve worked on this sort of thing; I’d be quite happy to share our experience over a coffee sometime if that would help. Rarely is this offer refused.
This second approach can also be used in the first scenario and also has very high success rate there.
In all cases we are using intrigue to promote a meeting. When given a result that impresses virtually everyone wants to know how it is done. It is a bit like when the stage magician does trick. We all wonder how it is done and want to know if we are right. Sometimes we think we know how it is done and want to check if we are right. In all of these cases the intrigue works.
A warning though. It is fine to make what you have done look easy but you never want to say it is easy. If it is that easy no one wants to pay much for your expertise. the secret is to make it look easy but make the prospect realise they can’t do it without you. This is where your future contract lies!
Ask the right questions