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Improve Your 60-Second Networking Commercial

by Nancy J. Wagner

Imagine this…you attend a meeting where each attendee gets the opportunity to stand up and talk about their business for 30 or 60 seconds.  When it’s your turn, your opening statement is so catchy that you immediately grab the entire group’s attention.  You next give a few interesting facts about what your business offers, then invite the audience to talk with you at the break.  During the break, several prospects come up to you, ask for more information and want to exchange business cards.  When you leave the meeting, you have no doubt the event was well worth your time and money.

If your networking speech isn’t achieving this kind of success, it’s time to use the following tips to turn your 60-second commercial into a memorable presentation that compels prospects to contact you afterwards. 

Opening Statement.   The first words out of your mouth should absolutely grab your audience’s attention and cause them to sit up and realize you’ve got something unique to say.  Good openers usually involve mentioning a problem your prospects share OR stating a strong benefit of your product or service.  The goal of your opening statement is to either appeal directly to each person or encourage them to think of someone else they could refer to you.

Below are real-life examples of before and after opening statements participants worked into attention-grabbing openings during my two hour seminar on improving your commercial:

“Hi, my company builds websites and provides web hosting.”

“Do you have a website?  (Pauses to wait for audience to think.)  Have you checked Google to see if your website comes up?  (Pauses again.)  If you want your website to come up on Google so you don’t miss further sales opportunities, I’d like to talk with you.”

“I work with a local college where I help you find qualified employees to work at your business.”

“Have you had an employee from hell working at your company?!!”

“If you know someone who needs assisted living services, my company can help.”

“Have you ever been to a nursing home that smells bad and looks worse?  Well, we’re different.  People walk into our facility and they smell fresh cookies baking and popcorn popping, see fresh flowers, and notice that the residents have smiles on their faces.”

Mention Your Name and Company Name.  Once you give your opening statement, now is a good time to say your name and company name.  This makes a great transition to give people a chance to pause and catch up with your fantastic opening statement and prepare them to hear the next part of your commercial – the unique solution your company offers.

Use Key Messages to Explain How Your Company is Unique.   You’ve got your audience’s attention, and now it’s time to tell them how you can solve their problem.  Don’t bog your audience down with boring details that just talk about how great you are.  Instead, find ways to explain what you in ways that make you sound unique and different than your competitors. Click here to learn how to create effective, compelling key messages.

Call for Action.    After you’ve explained in just a few sentences how your company is unique, the audience is primed and ready to take action.  So, tell them exactly what you want them to do.  If you want them to talk to you during the break or after the meeting, say that.  If you prefer that they call you or visit your website, tell them exactly how to do that.  If you want to offer them a discount to sweeten the incentive to contact you, say it now.  Put some thought into what results you want from your commercial, then make it super-easy for interested prospects to contact you.

You’ll soon find yourself looking for more opportunities to give your commercial because you know how effective it is!