My name is … and I …

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want my help in growing your sales, let’s connect.

Picture this.

You are busy working late one evening and a message pops up from a business colleague you get on well with. You pause Netflix and take a look.

“Hey (Your Name), why don’t you come along as my guest to the XYZ networking event taking place next month, you will love it! I met a number of new people today who I think I can work with and so I am sure this would be great for you and your business. Fancy it?”

You are intrigued. New business eh? That would be nice as it has been some time since yoReaderu closed any new deals and you did set yourself a target for the year which does seem quite a way off.

You check your diary. You are free on the day. This could work you start to think! You still have a few old business cards and so you are good to go!

You send a message back to your colleague saying ‘Yes I would love to come along thanks, book me in’ and you add it to your diary. And just before you press ‘play’ on the next series episode you even start to imagine what you might do with the income from 2 or 3 new clients!!

Roll forward 4 weeks and you look at your diary for the coming few days and the event is nearly here! You have a busy week but you don’t want to let your colleague down and so you arrange family schedules to ensure you can make it and start thinking about what to wear.

The day of the event arrives and you get everything in place ready to attend. The business cards are packed, you wear your favourite outfit and you get ready to meet some new people! You feel nervous and are not sure what to expect but you have committed to it.

You get to the event and meet your colleague. It’s nice to see them and they immediately introduce you to a couple of people. You start to enjoy yourself and then the event organiser calls order and asks everyone to sit down.

They introduce the event and explain the format and then tell everyone they have 1 minute to introduce themselves.

And then reality hits…

What the hell are you going to say? You didn’t realise you had to stand up in front of 25 other people and say something.

You start to sweat profusely. Maybe this wasn’t a good idea after all.

They are going in a cloc​kwise direction and there are 11 people before it’s your turn.

Now there are 8.

It’s now down to 5

2 to go.

Your heart starts pumping. You feel a sense of impending stress.

“What the hell did I agree to this for” you say to yourself.

The person sitting next to you stands up. They are so confident and speak so articulately. They share a joke and finish just before the organiser says their time is up.

Its time. It is now your turn…

You stand up and can sense your face already going red.

Hi my name is <insert name> and I…….

Come on be honest with me, who can resonate with this story?

Going to potentially meet new buyers is exciting but all too often when it comes to introducing ourselves at events, many people panic. If you are not a natural people-person, then meeting new people at events can be incredibly daunting and it becomes even more challenging if you have to stand up and say something. Times that by 10 if you haven’t prepared and practiced something in advance!

I am a big fan of networking events and I try to attend as many as I can, but that’s because I have learned from the best people in this space.

One of those is my good friend Bradley Hatchett who has run networking events for a long time and who has created a brilliant newsletter called ‘The Networker’. Bradley has made it his mission to help as many people as possible get the most from networking events they attend and I really encourage you to sign up for his newsletter.

It is full of golden nuggets on how to get the most out of networking, what to do and what not to do.

I shared in my email last week how not to come across as an Elevenarifer when you meet new people, and although it’s difficult, we have to resist the urge when we are meeting new buyers.

I am going to let you explore the full library of content that Bradley has to offer. He has so many good insights on networking skills such as active listening, asking interesting questions, and following up after the event.

But before I go, what should you say when it's your turn to stand up/you meet someone for the first time?

Here are 5 simple tips that I always try and use when I attend events.

1. Take some deep breaths, speak slowly and clearly.

It’s hard when our brains and heart are going into overdrive but the calmer and clearer you are the better. A simple way to do this is to do a few deep breaths before its your turn to speak.

2. Share your name, your company and what you do in one to two simple sentences to start with.

You ideally want to make the audience stand up and be aware of who you are and hopefully make them want to listen more. You don’t want at this stage to share everything but you do want to leave them thinking ‘Ok he/she is intriguing, I wonder how they achieve that’ Here is one of the outlines i say initially although I do mix this up often and constantly tweak it.

‘Hi, my name is James White and I am the Director of the Sales Growth Academy. My team and I work with the leaders of ambitious service-based companies to drive sales growth in their businesses. We provide them with sales strategies and plans to achieve growth and then train and mentor their teams to understand buyers more effectively and close more deals.”

3. Be as specific as you can be about who you help and the outcomes you achieve for them.

Here is a good example of this:

“We typically work with Investment Management or Insurance firms and we turn the goals and ideas they have for revenue growth into actual plans which can be achieved. On average we help our clients convert more prospects into customers and a recent client secured £24m of additional revenue in a 6 month period as a direct result of our plans and advice.”

4. Finish off by once again repeating your name and then outline your call to action.

Most people at events will say ‘I am looking for meetings or people to speak with’ but very often that’s a big ask. I like to finish off with something such as this:

“We would love to meet ambitious leaders who want to grow, and so if you know of anyone then please think of us. We have some really good free resources which we share. Our most recent guide on ‘92 Key Sales Questions to ask if you sell Financial Services’ has proved really popular. If you know of someone who could benefit from the guide then let me know afterwards and I can share it with them.”

5. Practice

My final point on networking is practice. Write down what you want to say and practice it, even whilst you are in the car travelling to the event. Speak into your phone and hear yourself talk. But if you can’t do that, grab 5 minutes before the event and try and practice what you want to say. The more times you do it, the better it is likely to sound!

I hope you found this week’s email useful and it’s given you some pointers on how to ensure that when the time comes to say ‘Hi my name is xx, that you are prepared!’

But if you want to become an EXPERT in networking, then sign up to Bradley’s The Networker email. It’s a brilliant weekly read.



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