Steps to Networking – Step 46: Description of you, your product or service

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 12th, 2010

STEP 46: Description of you, your product or service

If, after you’ve given your sound bite, listeners state that they want additional information, give them your brochure, other print materials or a verbal description. However, if you don’t have or don’t want to give out print materials, be prepared to verbally describe you, your product and services. Think of the description as the follow up or part 2 of your sound bite.

Often it’s desirable to simply give your brochure or print materials those who request more information. It will give them your contact information and allow you to mingle and try to make more connections. However, when you have someone who truly seems interested, it may be worthwhile to spend a bit more time explaining what you do in the hope of building a tighter relationship. Use your instincts.

If listeners do not request additional information, ask if they would like copies of your brochure or print materials. Wait to be asked before delivering a verbal description of you, your product or services or you could come across as overly pushy and aggressive. Don’t volunteer because you could kill off all chances of further contact.

A verbal description can run longer than the 10 to 15 second sound bite, but try to keep it between 15 to 30 seconds. Be considerate of your listeners. They have other things to do, many have short attention spans or are there to circulate and make contacts, so keep the description of your product or services short and sweet. When you finish giving your description, ask if they would like you to send or email them more information.

Think of your description as a mini brochure that explains the benefits you provide. Be specific. Structure your description by listing each benefit that you provide in the order of its importance. List no more than seven benefits, but if your business offers more, as the last item state that you provide additional benefits. Only identify the additional items if asked and then, describe each item in just a few words.

The most common problem with descriptions of yourself, your product or service is lack of clarity. When you know a subject intimately, it’s easy to assume that everyone else understands it. As a result, we tend to use terms specific to our industries and expect others to understand them, which may not be true.

In describing what you do, be extremely specific. Avoid generalized terms that may create misunderstandings. If you’re an accountant, state that you prepare tax returns, appear with clients at IRS audits and prepare financial statements. Be specific! From your description, people should be able to fully understand what they will be getting from you.

(Excerpted from NETWORKING MAGIC: Making Connections That Will Change Your Life By Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin With Mark Steisel)

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