This month I wanted to write about the 3 minute elevator pitch that we have heard about in marketing circles for years designed to help you get your work and name out there. I have a bit of a variation on that pitch, and it relays to the previous “Note” related to listening.
Each time you meet someone, you have an opportunity for connection. You have a chance to listen and to share – the foundation of relationship.
At our basic self, people just want to be seen and heard. I know this, so when I meet other professionals I always ask about their experience in whatever we are doing.
When introducing yourself to others find a way to share your experience and how it relates to your work, then, ask them about their work! That’s right, ask about them. Listen to their line of work and what they really like about it. It will inspire your own feelings and you will have an opportunity to share your own authentic personal experiences with client work, processes, and what keeps you coming back to the work you do day after day. This is true connection. When it is time to say goodbye, ask them for their business card and offer yours. Yes! Ask for their card first. Always have your card on hand, in a pocket, or sitting out next to your phone at a workshop.
After the conference (or time together) is over, you can shoot them a quick email (that you obtained from their card) to let them know how nice it was to meet and chat with them about the “work we both love” or whatever genuine statement you can make. They will keep you in mind.
Be curious about others. Ask about their work.
Have a sentence that describes your population and why you love the work.
Listen to others so you can respond in likeness and kindness.
Share your passion.
It is a dialogue – not a monologue.
This is it. It will get easier each time you do it.
I used to think networking was a phony way of self-promoting, and now I see it as just meeting people and talking about the work we love. Seriously. That is how I see it. And I am so very grateful for all the wonderful people I have met along the way. I cannot tell you how many referrals have come from just being curious and kind to others. And it builds, day after day, year after year.
When you commit to others, they will commit to you.