When it comes to improving your brand, we cannot emphasize the importance of building solid business relationships and delivering great pitches enough. This rings true for businesses in all sectors and niches. In order to be successful in your sector, you have to be willing to establish and maintain healthy connections. This is where good networking and pitching skills are essential.
Here are some networking and pitching techniques that can help improve your brand.
Learn To Truly Listen
To perfect your networking skills, you have to get to know the people and culture of the company that you want to approach. After all, you are doing business with people. So, you have to know how to make someone feel at ease and form a connection with them. People will sometimes forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
Making people feel truly heard is very important. This shows that you are not just interested in what they can give you, but that you prioritize their story above their success. How does one do this? By asking the right questions.
Instead of waiting for someone to finish their sentence so you can reply and shove your business card in their hand, listen intently to what they have to say. Base follow-up questions on what that person said. Truly try to understand why they do what they do, what you have in common, and how you can benefit them.
This approach will not only help you to network more efficiently but will also allow you to turn your pitches into in-depth conversations, rather than awkward monologues. Once you have business acquaintances that feel heard, understood, and valued, your pitches will come naturally and have a much higher success rate.
Be The Solution, Not The Problem
A lot of companies use networking events as opportunities to find solutions. Don’t be that person that views potential connections as your next meal ticket. Instead, always give more than you take. Try to offer value and solutions to other companies and prioritize them above yourself. Know their story before you dive into yours.
People crave authentic connections. By always asking for favors but not being open to helping others, you will actually frighten potential business partners away and be counterproductive. So, don’t start your conversation with business matters. Instead, start by getting to know the person standing in front of you.
Yes, at the end of the day you also want more publicity for your own brand. However, by being a resource to other companies and business contacts, media coverage will be a natural byproduct. So don’t force it but rather just do your part, be authentic, and wait for the free publicity to come to you.
Invest In The Right People
By knowing who your client base is and what connections you still need to form to get your clients where they want to go, you can fortify relationships with the right outlets and influencers. In contrast to popular belief, trying to reach and work with everyone in your industry is simply not a practical way to build and maintain lasting professional relationships.
Instead, you should buckle down your efforts and only focus on a select couple of outlets and businesses that you really want to collaborate with. Making sure that you collaborate with people and businesses who have the right target audience. This will have a stronger impact than if you choose collaborators based on the size of their reach.
By tightening your circle, you will also have more time on your hands to focus on the work and maintain the professional relationships you already have. Remember, it is important to not spread your networking efforts too thin if you cannot maintain extra relationships.
The Perfect Pitch
The secret to the perfect pitch is that you have to ditch the traditional pitching format. Apart from being able to properly introduce yourself and show how you have benefitted your clients, your pitch should be less about the work and more about portraying your passion and evoking curiosity.
How does one do that exactly? Start by telling your company’s unique story. What led you to start your business in the first place? Mention the success that your clients or customers have achieved thanks to your help.
This will let people know that you really love what you do and that you view your clients’ success as your own. Furthermore, they will also be wondering how you managed these successes, which will lead to more questions. Before you know it, an exciting conversation will ensue – which is exactly what you want!
When it comes to networking and delivering that perfect pitch, people crave authenticity. If you want to stand out from the crowd, really listen to what they have to say. Remember to aim for a meaningful conversation rather than pitching an unsolicited idea. This will help you to strengthen your brand as you will come across as more authentic and trustworthy.