Making Networking Easy

Making Networking Easy

No matter how good your Digital or Social Media Marketing is, many businesses need to network with other potential clients, referral partners, resellers or industry colleagues.


What do you say to the age-old question at a networking event when someone asks, "what do you do?". Well having your introductory pitch can make or break your first impression.


So this article, based on our recent podcast, Networking Made Easy will give you some useful tips to building an effective introduction as well as pointing out how to avoid some common mistakes people make when introducing themselves at networking events.


General Networking Tips

  • When people first meet at a networking event they are trying to find some common ground, this is one of the major factors in deciding whether someone will engage with your answer
  • If you don't make it easy for the other person to find something in common, then that is when the conversation stalls and you end up with a pregnant pause and the conversation stalls
  • Practice your introduction out loud, for some reason practicing in our heads just isn't sufficient, what we end up doing is making intuitive leaps and we assume that we know how to get from point A to point B, from sentence A to paragraph B and it's not until we say it out loud that we realise that it's not as clear as we first thought it was.

Why an Effective Introduction?

  • The first reason you need an effective introduction is for yourself, you need to hear something come out of your mouth that you are happy and proud of so you can easily describe your business to anyone who asks
  • There's also extremes that you need to consider when formulating an introduction either;
    • Some people will go to the extreme of labelling themselves by industry type, they'll say "I'm an accountant or a salesperson" and you can almost hear the other person judging based on a comparison of all the other people that they know in the same industry
    • This is not good as regardless of all the great benefits your accounting firm may have as soon as you label yourself as an accountant they may dismiss you as just another accountant
    • The other extreme that you will see is the type of person who will say something along the lines of "I help people dream their wildest dreams and then I work with them to manifest that dream into reality".
    • Following this type of response, you are none the wiser about the business and you've probably been alienated by the other person
  • The second reason you need an effective introduction is to be able to engage with the other person, it's all about giving them an opportunity to be able to add to the conversation.
  • So, we need to be able to give an answer that increases levels of engagement with the other person, anything to avoid pregnant pauses and stop the conversation stalling
  • The third reason is that if you are in a sales situation or at a networking event we certainly don't want to pass up an opportunity to start the qualification process (the process of qualifying whether a potential prospect is a good fit for your business, product or service).

Structuring your Introduction

  • Think about the person who is always selling, the person who is always making statements, if they are always making statements then I can't get into the conversation, so think about the opposite of a statement, a question.
  • Two great ways to start your introduction are you know how or have you ever? The best kind of question in your introduction is a rhetorical one that doesn't require a proper answer rather requires the person being asked the question to reach the answer internally
  • Something along the lines of "you know how many people…" and then insert your typical clients claim here. "Many people suffer from this, many people struggle with that, many people try to find this."
  • A good way to think about it is from the potential prospects point of view. I help clients do this, I help people who suffer this pain, I helped reduce the stress and frustrations around, I helped maintain these things for clients.

Four Styles of Introduction commonly used


#1 Mrs. Embarrassed

  • The first style is from a person who is quite clearly embarrassed either about what they do or about the way they answer the question.
  • You can see this in their delivery, it's in the words they choose to use, it's what they their eyes are doing, it's what their face is doing, it's what their hands are doing. You can just tell that person was embarrassed so our delivery is vitally important
  • This is important to remember, communicating with people the spoken part of meeting someone isn't the detail most people remember it's mainly the non-verbal stuff we take in.
  • Something along the lines of seventy or eighty percent of the details we remember from meeting someone is non-verbal.

#2 Mr. Overly Specific

  • The second style of introduction that is most commonly found at networking events is the people who are far too specific with their introduction
  • So, you've asked them what do you do and they will give an answer something like "I file tax returns", rather than saying Financial Services.
  • What is happening in the above scenario is that the person is making it difficult to engage with you at the Tax Returns level unless I have specific tax returns experience. If that's not the case then I'm probably not your ideal client
  • Whereas if we back up a couple of logical levels, if we go well it's not about tax returns, it's not about accounting, it's about financial advice.
  • If we start from financial advice, that sort of logical level then we may go in many different directions, and we may end up talking about my last experience trying to put together a tax return but we don't know that.
  • By labelling yourself as someone who deals with tax returns, you have reduced our ability to be able to find the connection if you start too specific.

#3 Ms. Jargon

  • The third style of introduction is someone who speaks in jargon and the classic example of this is when they ask what do you do? They'll come back with something like well what I do is work with horizontally, vertically in matrix structural organisations. After doing the analysis at a range of levels, no one knows what you do, they've tried to tell you and you walk away feeling dumb.
  • You walk away feeling silly, and you feel as though you should know because the words are in English but together they just make no sense. This is a very easy trap of people to fall into, is using too much jargon from their own industry.
  • A good way to avoid using too much jargon in your introductions is to imagine that you've got to explain what you do to a thirteen-year old child, if you can do that, you're probably avoiding the jargon issue

#4 Mr. Selling 24/7

  • The final style is the person who's always trying to sell something. These are the sort of people who even though they are talking to you, they are looking past you, they are scanning the rest of the room to see who else is there.
  • They are not present with you and all they want to do is talk about themselves and sell something to you and you can just feel that you're sort of being pushed into a corner, they are not listening to you
  • There is no interest in what it is that you do yourself, it's all about them. These people are very difficult to connect with as there is no way I can engage with the conversation

Evaluating your Introduction


A lot of people find themselves leaving networking events, on the drive home thinking: "gee I stuffed that one up, why did I say that, why did I forget that, I should've said…." But while this may help you find some areas that you need to work on it mostly puts you into a cycle of self-criticism and depression but Rod has a much better method for reviewing his introductions.


Think about your introduction in three key aspects, what did I do good? What did I find tricky? And if I must do that again what would I do differently?


For more useful information on Marketing and Sales strategies and practical information on how to get more leads, clients and sales listen to our Marketing Strategy Show Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, subscribe to our Marketing Insights Newsletter or follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn.


Kym Heffernan

the marketing strategy company

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

business plan template

Get Instant Access to the Business Plan Template that has helped thousands of Business Owners in every sector plan and grow their business.

Learn More
fees and benefits

Our Programs start from as little as $10 a day making it affordable for all business types.

Learn More

Top Rated Articles

The History of Business Coaching

The Inner Series...   In order to understand the history of business coaching, it’s important to go back to t


How your company can adapt to the Digital Revolution

Over the last couple of years, technological innovation has brought about a rapid change in the customer service landsca


7 Biggest Challenges Facing Your Business

It is kind of inevitable that businesses will face challenges at different stages of their growth and development. So, p


Recently Viewed

How I changed my Facebook Business Page Name

I started a Facebook page for my business many years ago. I had spent thousands of dollars running ad campaigns and gain


9 Skills Every Businessman Needs To Have When Starting a Business

Starting a business is no easy challenge. As a business owner, you must have the ability to lead your company to success


5 Inexpensive Ways to Market Your Small Business

So one of the most common questions I get asked is, 'Ben, how do I market my business when I've got no money?' In fact

  • Over the past 6 months the incredible team at MMP have supported us to shift our attitude towards our business & month on month our revenue is increasing to the point we will be able to employ additional staff to support our business goals long into the future. Do not regret our decision one single bit!

    • Emma Reece

  • Working with my coach has enabled me to see the areas where my business is failing. This was pretty confronting to me to be honest. MMP has the tools to improve these areas and the guidance on how to implement them.

    • Sharon Robinson

  • I have been working with Max My Profit for approx 3 years now, and over that time I have learnt a lot of things about not only what it takes to run a business, but I have also learnt things about myself. I don't believe i'd be the person or have the business I have today if it wasn't for Max My Profit and our Business Excelerator. Great team to work with if you want to take your business serious!

    • Ben Choy

  • As a new client for Max My Profit (MMP) it has taken no time at all to realise the benefits of business coaching. Despite many years of senior management experience starting a new business requires best practice systems and processes built on a solid platform of detailed planning. I look forward to the benefits of adopting the formula being shared by MMP.

    • Campbell MacLeod

  • Max My Profit Are truly awesome at what they do. They have helped me over the past 12 months to get off the tools in my business and start working on my business. I am looking forward to 2019 with enthusiasm not concern. Thanks so much.

    • Aaron Kemp

  • If you are committed to Growth the Max My Profit Team has the tools and expertise to excelerate all areas of your life. They Care, They Listen, They Understand You as an Individual first then they focus on Your business. Thank you Max My Profit my rating is a 6/5 - Kindest Regards The Mr Handyfix Team

    • Catherine Kavadas

  • The team at Max My Profit are an absolute pleasure to deal with. I love working with a team who is on top of what they are doing and have a clear view of what they are working on with you and helping ensure you get to the end goal.

    • Lauren Watts

  • I have been working with MaxMyProfit over the years and what they do for SME's in growing their business is fantastic. Also due to there knowledge and their supporting material for companies across the 5 lifestyle stages and assisting them through this process day in day out is extremely comforting as a small business owner and have referred them many businesses over the years.

    • Steve Laingy

  • Working with a business coach from MaxMyProfit has been one of the best things I have done for my business. I had several other coaches before MaxMyProfit but these guys are a step above the others. I have seen a significant increase in sales, now have a business that can run itself and the coaching program has paid for itself many times over.

    • Matthew Kitchin

  • Much more than just business coaches. There is an absolute treasure chest of business knowledge in their members site.

    • Iain Campbell

  • Max My Profit are unique as they really partner with you to develop and implement a plan that will drive success for the business. I was hesitant to proceed as previous business coaches tell you what to do and rely on you to implement.

    • Michael de Haan

  • I attended one of Max My Profits introductory events in Melbourne. Having been an accountant for almost 30 years, I was somewhat sceptical. Boy was I wrong. I not only enjoyed the presentation, but I gleaned so much from just that session.

    • Daniel Odd

  • These guys are an absolute wealth of knowledge for Small Business. The programme and support networks they have set up ensure learn more every day and can take your business from good to great. Thanks so much.

    • John Butler