Networking for Hermits is a free downloadable (pdf) guide-book for people who are new to networking. Networking is not about selling to the people in the room, it is about earning the chance to sell to their 250-1000 contacts.
Most people who are new to networking think that when they are asked to give a short commercial introduction that they are selling to the room. This is not the case. In a commercial introduction you are telling people in a very succinct way: What problem exists for your targeted ‘ideal’ referral that day. What solution you provide to solve this problem. What authority you have to solve this problem; experience, licensing, credentials, education or training (pick one or two). Who you are and what is the best way to contact you and lastly, who is the ideal referral you are looking for today (be specific so a name will quickly come to the mind of the listener. Here is an example:
Problem: Many small business owners and professionals find that they are too busy to create blogs, feature articles and post on social media websites to help grow their business.
Solution: As a Virtual Executive Assistant I can do this for them providing reliable, well-written articles that help them get new customers and contacts from internet searches.
Authority: My name is Gregg Sterett and I have 35 years experience in business in Marketing Communications, Sales, Training and Quality Improvement.
Contact: My company, Sterett Enterprises LLC of Lewisville, Texas, has been in business for over two years and is on the web at GreatPeopleWorks.com. My business cards are in the front of the room.
Ideal Referral: Today, I’d like a referral to your Dentist or Family Physician. Please write their name on the back of one of your business cards now, and pass it to me. Thank you.
Using this approach and following the points in the free networking for book above practically guarantees you will get referrals, but most people will not refer you based on a single, short commercial message. You must schedule one-on-one meetings with them and build relationships, earning their trust and respect. Then you will have no trouble gaining networking referrals.