When networking, there are four words that can make or break your whole day: What do you do? Not knowing ahead of time how to answer this question well could derail the business deal of a lifetime before it even leaves the station. On the other hand, a perfectly delivered summation of who you are and why keeping in touch with you is a great idea is like a key that opens a treasure vault of opportunity. We at Eagle Eye Events assert that the importance of a good elevator pitch cannot be overemphasized.
The secret to a good elevator pitch is really quite simple: use the 80/20 rule. In a nutshell, the rule says that for every networking conversation you have, only spend about 20% of the time talking about yourself and allow the other 80% of the dialogue to be focused on the other person.
For many, this may seem counterintuitive. After all, in a five minute conversation, the 80/20 rule only allows you one minute to sell yourself, your abilities, and your business to the people before you. Rather than sell yourself to them however, we suggest letting them sell you to themselves. This is accomplished by the smart questions you ask and the interest you show while others are doing one of their favorite things in the world: talking about themselves.
Used properly, this strategy gives your contacts the (hopefully accurate) impression that you are an intelligent person and a good listener, and that you are someone with whom they should keep in touch. The 80/20 rule is an approach that’s worked flawlessly at many networking events for us, and we’re sure you’ll have great success with it as well.