Networking Introduction Strategies -- Should You Focus on Pain Or Gain?
I often coach clients on creating compelling networking introductions. Frequently the debate is, "which is better: focusing on the pain or loss (as one of my clients phrased it "backing up the hearse") or instead, should you focus on the prospect's aspirations or gains?" Which works best?
Lets' explore this further.
On one hand...
Imagine that a neighbor wakes you in 3:00 A.M. pounding on your door to tell you that Home Depot is giving away a gas BBQ to the first 25 people who open a credit card account at their new location near you. You would probably think the neighbor was crazy.
On the other hand...
Imagine this same neighbor wakes you in 3:00 A.M. pounding on your door to tell you that a couple of teenagers jumped your fence and are wheeling your gas BBQ out of your yard. You'll likely thank them, dial 911 and head outside.
Same BBQ; different feelings.
The feeling of loss is dramatically different from the pull of potential gain. This is how your prospects feel. Psychologists tell us that fear of loss motivates action roughly two-to- three times more effectively than hope for gain. But at what price?
Playing up the loss too transparently can appear quite blunt, threatening and over the top (can you hear the hearse backing up... beep... beep?). Or, if you hype up the gain too much you come across as not credible or believable.
Is there an option for balance?
I think so. Here are a few formulas to consider:
"I work with (target market) who are ready to be done with (some high probability of pain for the target market), and get on with (goal or aspiration)."
"I help (target market) people who want (goal/aspiration) without (target market pain) as a downside."
"We help (target market) fix, cure, reduce, avoid, remove, stop, etc. their (high-probability pain for the target market) and get (whatever it is that is desired)."
"We help (target market) improve (measurable element) by (percent, dollars, etc.) within (some specific time frame)."
"We help (target) who aren't actually in (some market pain) but who just need (type of help) to achieve (some aspiration)."
And here are some completed examples that use the above formulas:
"I work with first time home buyers who fed up with high rent payments achieve their dream of owning a home and start building equity for themselves."
"I help frustrated women with thin frazzled hair who want to have an easy to manage flattering hairstyle, without the downside of taking hours to look good."
"We help car accident victims eliminate their back pain and regain mobility and get back to an active lifestyle without pain."
We help women investors improve their return on investment by 7 percent to 15 percent, within 18 months.
"We help small business owners who aren't actually in financial trouble, but who just need cash flow help to achieve the business growth that they know is possible."
The trick here is to use both the problem and the outcome or the pain and aspiration together, without pushing too hard on the just pain. Try crafting one for yourself using the above examples as a starting point.
And of course, testing is the real key. After creating a new intro, use it often. I find it usually takes 5 or 6 times just to get past stumbling and into a more relaxed fluency.
Make sure to track your results - are you getting conversations started from it? If you're not getting the results you want, refine and try again. It's definitely worth the effort and ultimately ensures the best result from your investment in networking.
If you want to improve your networking introduction and would like some help check out The Perfect Elevator Pitch Webinar Trainign program: It comes with 2 90-minute training webinars and a easy to use template to help you craft an attention getting introcustion. Check it out here: http://sueclement.com/elevator-pitch