Have you ever wished for an Instruction Manual that told you how to really connect with anyone you meet? Do you wish you knew what to say to a new contact to make an impact and get their attention? Well, if youre like the hundreds of professional people I have talked to around the world, then youre probably shouting YES!
First lets deal with introductions. Think about how many times a day you get asked, So
what do you do? Did you know that first impressions are made in the first 17 seconds of meeting someone and if you dont capture their attention in that first minute, you may have lost the job, sale or potential lead before you ever really got started?
Having a defining statement, or as I like to call it, The 17 Second Drill, that tells your prospect what you do, how you do it, and what differentiates you from anyone else who does what you do, is the most important marketing collateral you need if youre in a career transition. I like to call this the verbal resume. A well written resume may get you into the interview, but if you dont have a strong defining statement, you wont get the job.
I recommend to people that you actually sit down and type out your drill and practice it in front of people who know you well and will give you their honest feedback. Before you sit down at your computer and start writing, consider my 5 Cs for Connecting criteria for creating your powerful introduction.
1. Clear- Be sure to let people know what you do. What is your expertise, what are you known for? You want people to be intrigued but not confused. Watch industry buzzwords, technical terms and abbreviations that dont translate from industry to industry. Establish your credibility and track record right up front.
2. Concise- Follow the KISS rule. Keep it Short and Simple. Remember the rule of 7; the first 7 words you say, the first 7 mannerisms and physical gestures (eye contact, hand shake, tone of voice), and the first 7 inches from your shoulders up (your face), is what people will remember the most about your first meeting.