Storytelling is an incredibly important skill for power networking. If you can tell a good story, it not only clearly conveys who you are, but also makes you more relatable, trustworthy, and memorable. Here are some ways you can create a story to use in your networking efforts.
Your Introduction Story
When you attend networking events or any opportunity to meet new people, you will have bite-sized conversations with a number of individuals. Therefore, start with a simple, short story the introduction story) that conveys who you are. Just make sure that you can rattle it off to each person or group you meet (without sounding like a robot).
The goal of your introduction story is to convey to people who you are in a way that’s concise and easy to understand.
Crafting Your Introduction Story
Again, this story must be short. It should only include the key information you want people to know about you before they move on to the next person. Here are our favorite tips we use to create a story!
Your Introduction Story should answer 3 questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- How do you serve?
The third question is important because it conveys the benefit of knowing you. Yes, this may seem a bit cocky, but that is the point of networking — showcasing your value to other business owners!
Try to anticipate what questions people might ask when they hear your story. For example, if you introduce yourself as a writer, people will ask you what you write or where you have been published.
More Stories for Networking
In addition to your introduction story, you should prepare a few more and look for opportunities to share them.
If you need a starting point, we suggest speaking with one of your favorite customers and/or clients. Ask them, “Why did you start working with me? What did you get out of this relationship? What challenges did you overcome?” Learning this will enable you to tell a story about YOUR BENEFITS, and how these benefits already help people.
Pro Tip: If your client does not want to be revealed (say you’re a doctor specializing in fungus… your patient may not want their name associated with it), just keep the name concealed!
Tips on Creating Effective Networking Stories
Go over every area of your business and look for stories waiting to be told. The best opportunities to write stories are when there has been a big change. Aside from sharing a success story, you may want to share how you founded your business, how it grew, faced a challenge in the market, developed a new product line, and so on.
Plan Your Stories!
If you actually write out and plan your stories, you’ll have the chance to flesh them out and improve them. Try to make them humorous, engaging, and relatable. Also try to write them in such a way that they emphasize the unique benefits you offer.
Rehearse Your Stories!
Run your stories by colleagues and acquaintances to get feedback. It may be awkwards, but it will help you! Remember, practice makes perfect! (Or rather, practice helps you remember what you want to say…).
Final Thoughts – Create a Story
When you create a story for networking, this will drastically improve your networking experiences. Just make sure you have a few, go-to stories that are different lengths. (You need one anchor bit-size story!) And ultimately, make sure these stories showcase YOUR BENEFITS! If they do, then people will leave with a sense of excitement thinking, “I am so glad I met this person!”