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How Can Learning to Speak in Public Impact My Growing Business Success?

So you think because you are a good schmoozer you will be a networking dynamo.  Think again.  “But Gerry,” you say, “I get along well with people.  I have lots of friends, and I’m always the life of the party.”

Or are you a wallflower, the one who stands in a corner by yourself?  Now that you own your own business, will you try to generate business through passive advertising?  Will you spend your hard-earned money on newspapers, websites, radio, and magazines, anxiously hoping that someone reads your ad and purchases your product or service?  Those are great tools for reaching target markets, but there is a simpler, less expensive, and more effective way to advertise your business.

In the broadest sense, your market is people, and you meet people every day.  Evaluate where you meet them.  Do you ride an elevator, or use mass transit?  Are you a member of a social, athletic, or special interest group?  Do you serve on a committee or board?  Do you shop, work out, or walk your dog?  Wherever there is conversation, there is an opportunity for you to market your business.

Be proactive.  When asked “What do you do?” be prepared with a polished response.  Understand that you have less than 30 seconds to attract someone to you, and be certain that your first words excite your audience.  They need to provoke your listener to respond with “How do you do that?”  Just as it takes 30 seconds to attract, it takes 30 seconds to discourage.

Evaluate your verbal presentation to be certain it is doing what needs to be done to attract people to you.  Is your speech clear and concise?  Are your grammar and terminology correct?  Are you swallowing your words?  Does your body language indicate self-confidence?  (If these are concerns, check out www.toastmasters.org for the closest local Toastmaster Chapter.)

One of the easiest things you can do is practice your presentation in front of a mirror, record it, and listen to it.  Do you sound like someone you want to hear?  Would your words attract you?  Would you do business with a person saying what you said?  If not, fix it.  Choose words that are easy to understand (eighth-grade language) and express.  Nothing could be worse than coming up with words that perfectly convey the message you want to send, but are too hard to say.

Practice in front of friends and relatives.  Ask them to be constructively critical, and to give you honest answers to questions such as “Does this make sense?  Would this attract you?  Do I appear confident?  Would you buy from me?”

Do your words create a vision?  Do people see themselves fitting in or wanting what you offer?  For example, if you are a travel agent, telling people that you can get them from point A to point B tells them what you do.  However, if you tell them that you “eliminate the stresses in their life,” you offer something we all want when traveling.

Many of you are transitioning to a new career.  However, if you can network or prospect for new clients in your old industry, do so!  You already “speak their language,” so use that language to attract new clients.  You might respond that it is easier to talk with strangers.  Some have told me that they are embarrassed to return to their old places of employment where friends and co-workers will see that they are starting all over.  If this is you, you are missing a golden opportunity to market where people already know and love you.  It is also correct to go to different locations within your old industry and solicit the purchase of your products and services.  Again, you understand them and they you.

What can you do to attract people, other than speaking, that will initiate conversation?  As an example, if a Realtor is selling to new homebuyers, she or he might target young families that are tenants.  Where does a Realtor find young families?  How about Little League games?  Consider sponsoring a kids’ softball, football, or soccer team.  If you cannot afford to sponsor, why not coach?  Wear your company logo at all games and practices.  Have your 15- to 30-second “elevator speech” polished.  And always carry plenty of business cards.

If you practice your presentation until you can consistently present it in a confident way, you will have clients beating down your door.

 

Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA.  He works with people in business who want to attract the right prospects and generate more referrals.  More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability.  Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.

His book series, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, are available on the website, www.integritysd.com.  Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses.  He is a networking dynamo.  Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together—which is why he started INTEGRITY.

Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is a Distinguished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations.

Are you truly committed to attracting the right prospects and generate more referrals?  If so then contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information.  You can contact Gerry by mail at 1610 Quiet Hills Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056.  Direct dial (760) 439-4623; e-mail to gerry@integritysd.com.  For more information, go to www.integritysd.com

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