Having a good introduction is powerful. You never know when you may be standing next to your ideal client. This could happen while you`re standing in line at the supermarket or attending a stockholder`s meeting.
Here are some creative ways to make sure that people within a few feet of you have an opportunity to do business with you:
1. THE ELEVATOR SPEECH
Have you ever had anyone ask you what kind of work you do and you had no powerful and compelling introduction to generate interest or curiosity with which to respond? The next time you`re on the elevator (or anywhere else) and someone asks you what kind of business you`re in, give them a twelve second "elevator speech" by remembering these two sentences and filling in the blanks:
a. "Do you know how..." (Name two or three problems that are common among your ideal customers.)
b. "Well, what I do is..." (Briefly tell them that your business solves each of those problems.)
For example if you are a business consultant you might say:
"Do you know how many companies today are concerned about high overhead, cash flow and employee relations?" (They will say yes.)
"Well, what I do is work with these companies by implementing systems that reduce overhead, increase cash flow and improve employee relations."
That`s the elevator speech.
2. INITIATING THE CONVERSATION
How do you give your elevator speech when the person you`re standing next to doesn`t ask you about your business?
You initiate a conversation by paying a compliment, making a comment about something that just happened or asking a relevant question. As the dialogue advances, you ask them what business they`re in and after they answer, they`ll ask you about your business. You know where to go from there.
3. NETWORKING INTRODUCTIONS
The next time you`re at a convention or networking opportunity and you have a chance to ask a question in front of a group, ask your question but first, incorporate your Unique Selling Proposition into the introduction of yourself. (A USP is a statement that conveys what it is about you, your product or service that makes you unique and therefore separates you from your competitors.)
For example if you sell computers and your USP is that you guarantee your computers twice as long as your competitors, your intro/question might sound something like this:
"Ms. Chairman, I`d like to ask a question. My name is __________ with ABC Computer Company. We are the company that guarantees all of our computers twice as long as our competitors. My question to your panel is..."
Do you get the idea? Ask questions often at each event, but each time change the wording of your USP so that it doesn`t sound canned.
One of the major benefits of this type of introduction is that in large groups there are almost always several people who need your product or service, but they just don`t know you. Standing up and asking a question with your introduction will draw them out. Watch for them to approach you at the breaks or at lunch.
4. OUTBOUND CALLS
When I`m making telemarketing cold calls (yes, I make cold calls too.), I like to ask a Basic Qualifying Question to see quickly if I have a good prospect or not.
But before I ask the BQQ question, I insert a 30 word or less description of my business and the results we achieve. That way I can give a "mini presentation" and present my product or service with the listener`s complete attention.
Note: This 30 word introduction does not in any way sound like a sales presentation. I simply give a factual summary of who the company is and what we do. That way the potential customer can draw their own conclusions.
5. INBOUND CALLS
If you send out cassettes, sales letters, brochures, etc., you probably have prospects call you for more information or perhaps to place an order.
When people call me after a promotion they have already had somewhat of an introduction by the material I sent them in advance. Therefore my approach is a little different when I take their calls.
I usually start out by thanking him (her) for calling and then I ask what was it about the information I sent that attracted his attention. After his response (which is the basis of my presentation) I will explain my role (introduction) with my firm and ask permission to ask more questions.
This gets me off and running with a strong start.
6. REFERRAL INTRODUCTIONS
When my past or present clients agree to refer me to someone they know, my first objective is to get them discussing with me the benefits of the products or services I sold them. The idea is to take them back into a "benefit state of mind." I want them thinking about all of the wonderful things I did for them before I make an important request.
I know that if I can get this person to make a call to the referral introducing me, the quality of that referral has been multiplied about ten times.
The way I do that is to simply ask her to do it...and assure her that, "I have a dual responsibility: one to the referral she is giving me and one to her for putting her trust in me again." I assure her that the referral will get the same quality service that she received.
When I can get her to introduce me before I make my call, I almost always make the sale.
7. LANGUAGE CONVERSION
Let`s say that you`re at a cocktail party or church social and you meet someone to whom you want to introduce your business.
Whatever that person says to you, try and convert that thought, message or language into how it ties into your business. If he says, "It`s a nice party isn`t it." You say, "Yes, it reminds me of a party I attended with one of my clients a few weeks ago." If they ask you, "do you know the host very well?" You say, "Yes he`s a friend and hopefully soon a new client of mine." (Do you get the idea?)
You`ll be amazed at how easy it is to create an opportunity to talk about your business if you just think in terms of: "How can I tie what she just said to my business without sounding too obvious?"
8. SPEECH INTRODUCTIONS
When you`re speaking at a seminar or mass group and someone is going to introduce you, be sure that you do two things before the event.
a. Write your own introduction.
b. Write the introduction in such a way that it positions you as an expert in your field. Here is where you`re allowed to blow your own horn because it`s someone else who is doing it. If you want to introduce a new product or service, include it in this formal introduction.
9. THE SALES APPOINTMENT RE-INTRODUCTION
How do you re-introduce yourself and your firm to a potential client on a sales call when you have previously introduced yourself over the telephone?
You give a brief summary of who you are, a little information about your company and what your products and services do. You might begin by saying, "As we discussed on the telephone, my firm produces..."(name your product, service, information about you, etc.)
Note: In any introduction, I highly recommend that you do NO SELLING, merely explain who you are and what you do.
I like to introduce my presentation by asking my prospect to give me her thoughts on what we discussed on the phone earlier and that way we can focus the meeting on what`s important to her. This usually creates a basis for the sales dialogue.
10. INTRODUCTIONS THROUGH PUBLIC RELATIONS
Some business people I know will not make a sales call without an introduction of one of two types:
a. Introduction from another person (Discussed above)
b. Introduction through public relations or promotions
Writing newsletters, news articles about your success stories, serving on committees, being involved in charitable groups and participating in clubs and organizations are a wonderful way to be introduced to potential clients.
Sponsoring and organizing luncheons and black tie dinners are also a solid (and classy) way to introduce yourself and your firm to your community...and to your ideal clients.
One of the neatest ways to do this is to find a convention or meeting where your ideal clients are going to be meeting and sponsor a breakfast, luncheon or dinner before, during or after the event. Even the people that cannot attend will be impressed and will usually send you their "regrets."
This is a powerful and first class way to make your introduction to people you want to meet.
Note: When sponsoring a breakfast, luncheon or dinner, it`s not cool to give a sales presentation at the event. All you need to do is to make sure it`s first class, pay for it and individually meet everyone there.
Republished with permission of Dave Malone