Networking – How to Create an Effective 30-Second Commercial

How many times have you attended a networking function only to find that everyone there gives virtually the same 30-Second Commercial?  It goes something like this…

“Hi, my name is Lucy Jane Jones and I am an Account Representative for Jones Sales Associates.”  Uh, I sell Wonderful Widgets.  If you have a need of a Wonderful Widget, we give $10.00 discount if you mention my name at checkout.  Hmmm, our office is just down the street on the next corner in the bright shiny high-rise on the left.  Omm, you can call me anytime and I’ll be glad to demonstrate our Widget to you or your office manager.  Lucy Jones with Jones Sales Associates, home of the Wonderful Widget.”

Please, just shoot me!

An effective 30-second commercial absolutely must be:

  • Engaging
  • Creative
  • Educational
  • Memorable
  • Paint a verbal picture for the audience

Nothing is engaging, creative, educational, and memorable or paints a verbal picture about the script above.

To engage your audience, most of us are like 5-year old children.  If you are talking to them, the easiest way to connect with them is to:

  • Ask a question
    • Lucy could have started her commercial with:
      • Let’s see a show of hands. How many of you have seen the Wonder Widget that just hit the market about a month ago?
    • Now in a room of 25-30 people, you would think that 1-2% of the attendees have seen an advertisement run on local television for this new product.

To be creative, Lucy could include a statement that includes the corporate tagline for this new product on the market as her opening statement.

To be educational, Ms. Jones could declare 1-2 key pointers of what the Wonderful Widget will do for you.

To be memorable, bring a sample of the Wonderful Widget for a show-n-tell to her audience.

Finally, to paint a verbal picture, Lucy could enhance her commercial by describing in brief, concise terms, what are the various features of her product.

Now to pull all of these elements together, Ms. Jones will also need to include three elements so that her audience can determine how they can be of assistance to her in the marketplace.

These three elements include:

  • The WHO
  • The WHAT
  • The WHY

WHO – Who are your prospective clients?

  • Who are your prospective clients?
  • What level of management are they?
  • What industries are you looking to penetrate?

WHAT – What product and/or service do you offer?

  • Concentrate on talking about only one product or service at a time.
  • If you have more than one product/service, create different commercials for each.

WHY – Why do people need this product/service?

  • You are describing your Value Proposition to the prospective client.
  • What problem or pain-point does your product address or solve?

You might use the following form to help you craft an effective commercial:

I work with (who)______________________________________________

I provide (what)_______________________________________________

So that or because (Value Proposition)_____________________________

Your Name and Company_______________________________________

You might ask, why do I say my name and company last?  Shouldn’t I say those things first?

No, because your name or company does not engage the audience.  Remember you have to grab their attention with the first few things that you say.

Other things you can do to improve your 30-Second Commercial is to:

  • Start your commercial with a question that helps them to think.
  • Make a statement about something that pertains to your industry or product offerings.
  • Tell a very brief story about how you have helped a client solve a problem. This is particularly effective if you are in a service industry rather than marketing a product.

If you will combine all of the points on crafting your 30-Second Commercial, your audience will be more apt to help you with referrals.

Finally, after you have tweaked your new commercial, try it out on a colleague.  When you are confident that you have whittled it down as lean as you can get, use a timer and practice-practice-practice.

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2016

Networking: Have a plan

Networking--pictureNetworking: Your results are directly proportional to the effort you put in–have a plan.

Networking is work.  Really!  If you expect to reap maximum benefits from attending and joining a networking organization, it requires more than just showing up, passing out as many business cards as possible and collecting cards from fellow attendees.

To be effective, you must start with a strategic networking plan which boils down to being a part of your overall marketing-sales plan for the year.

To develop your networking roadmap, first you will need to evaluate what you overall objective will be.  A few questions that will help you determine your expected outcome includes:

  • What is my reason for networking? Write down as many criteria that you can identify.
    • Make synergy partner connections?
    • Find more qualified prospects?
    • A need to find educational opportunities?
  • What groups fit my ideal networking profile?
    • Are the members of the same professional level or higher up than I am?
    • Do the industries represented fit my need for a prospective client base?
  • Are the membership maintenance requirements conducive to my schedule?
    • What will be expected of me as an active member?
    • What alternatives are available if I am unable to be in attendance?
  • What do I have to bring to the table?
    • Will my leadership talents, mentoring expertise be of use to the leadership team or other members.
    • Will I have leadership opportunities?
  • What is the overall Return on Investment (ROI) for membership in the group?
    • What are the hard costs of membership? Dues: national/local, meals, etc.
    • What will it cost me in time commitment? Time to get back and forth to the meetings, length of the meetings, time to participate in any additional extracurricular activities associated with membership of the organization.
    • Are there any hidden hard or soft costs associated with involvement as a member?

These are only a few questions that you should be asking yourself as you evaluate the usefulness of a prospective networking group.

Once you have identified not only the details and expectations of joining a networking group but also all of the hard and soft costs of membership, then you are ready to start shopping around to see if there is a local group that fits your requirements.

Next, attend numerous groups as well as several meetings of each group before you make a final decision to join.  Interview several of the members to see what their ROI has been.  Offer to buy the leadership a cup of coffee to explore how you would fit into the organization.

Finally, when you have conducted all of your research, then you will be ready to make an informed decision as to which group is a good fit for you.  After you have made your final decision, re-evaluate your ROI every quarter to make sure you are still meeting the original objectives of your networking plan.

Peggy P. Edge © 2016

Insight Motivational Speakers Leadership Conference & Small Business Expo

Peggy Edge will be presenting a break-out workshop on: “Key Steps to Effective Business Networking at the Insight Motivational Speakers Leadership Conference and Small Business Expo, next Thursday, March 26th.

Premier Speakers include: Dr. Gather Williams, Congressman Jack Wyman, Certified Ziglar Trainer Phillip Hatfield, Monetization Guru Jayne Rios and many more.

Check out the list of dynamic and motivational speakers:

Hope to see you there.