This is a guest post by Barbara Lopez, The Elevator Pitch Coach. I like to say that Barbara elevated my elevator pitch as a Direct Sales Consultant so that I became much more effective at networking events. I chose this article by Barbara because she wrote it so well that I did not need to, and it is so easy when you are new to internet marketing to want to try to be like the ‘gurus’ in order to cover the fact that you are relatively new. The downside to this is that you would not be authentic and people can see through pretense. Instead of building the know, like and trust factor this is more likely to alienate the very people you want to attract.
Have you ever received some advice, but it didn’t really “click” or resonate with you until many years down the road? When I was a teenager, and I’d be getting ready to head out with my friends, as I’d get to the door to leave my father would always say, “Remember who you are!” At the time, as a naive yet typical teenager who thought she knew everything, I’d always think to myself that it was such a weird thing to say – of course I’d remember who I was! How could I forget? I know who I am! I’m Barbara!
It wasn’t until many years later, when I became an adult, that I really understood the meaning behind those words, “remember who you are”. I realized that my father wasn’t telling me to remember my NAME, but to remember who I am as a person. What he was trying to advise me at the time, very gently, was to remember who I am as a person, and to be true to it. That, no matter what activities I’d be up to that evening, no matter whose company I was spending time in, that it was important for me to be true to myself – and to not stray from that – ever.
As I’ve grown older, I think that is actually the best piece of advice I’ve ever received. It’s great advice for a teenager, but I’m also seeing how applying it to my adult self has done great things for me both personally and professionally.
Reflecting on this advice of “remember who you are” recently, I also realized this is SO important when making a first introduction. There are a few reasons for that; allow me to explain.
You are more relaxed. When meeting someone for the very first time, if you just remember to be yourself, you’ll automatically relax a bit and enjoy the introduction more. Plus, if you’re attending a networking function where you’re meeting a lot of people at once or giving your elevator pitch to an entire room of people, you’ll feel more at ease. Showing up as yourself is key!
You’ll make a better first impression. We’ve all heard the saying, “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression”. If you are true to yourself, you’ll never have to worry about whether or not you’ve made a good first impression.
No one likes a phony. Have you ever met someone briefly, and then when you’ve seen them again or chosen them to do business with, that sometimes it seems they are NOT the person you first met? No one wants to meet a “character” or “fake” persona – they want to connect with a real person. Faking a happy or false personality will cause more damage in the long run. If people connected with you in that first introduction, and see that they have not met the real person behind who you are and what you do, you run the risk of losing them as a customer.
You’ll build better relationships. People like to do business with people they know, like and trust. That starts at the very beginning, from that first handshake and hello. If people can identify and figure out exactly what type of person you are from that first impression, you’ll have much more success in building a better relationship. Even if someone chooses not to do business with you for whatever reason, they’ll still LIKE you and you can go on to have a great relationship with them regardless.
Next time you get nervous or anxious at a networking function or when meeting someone for the first time, remember those four little words: Remember who you are. Simple advice that can have a huge impact on who you are, how you do business, and how you “show up” in the world.