Table of Contents
- Pre-requisites for an effective networking pitch
- How to create a perfect networking pitch
- Tips to remember
Imagine you enter an electronics store looking to buy a laptop. You go to the counter and let them know what you are looking for. A salesperson approaches you and starts introducing you to different options, assisting you in making a choice. They inform you of all the features of various laptops and how each would add value to you- and be aligned with your needs. Now imagine the same for a person instead of a product.
An effective networking pitch is a synopsis of your capabilities, achievements, and unique experiences you present to your networking audience. It allows you to sell yourself as a professional. Your pitch should be concise, informative, and persuasive.
A networking pitch, often referred to as the elevator pitch, is ideally presented to your prospective recruiters, hiring managers, and professionals working with your target employers. This is to create a strong first impression and convince them to consider you for an opportunity. Some scenarios where you can implement an effective pitch are:
- When networking with potential employers on LinkedIn
- Networking events
- Mid-career alumni events hosted by your alma mater
Pre-requisites for an effective networking pitch
1) Know your audience
Before you start preparing your networking pitch, understand your audience. Learn about their professional background, interests, and achievements. This will help you tailor your pitch in your favor, creating a good impression. However, this is not a one-time process. It needs to be repeated for every professional you interact with. To save effort, we suggest creating an outline of your pitch and customizing it based on your target audience. Some sources that you can use to research your audience are:
- LinkedIn profile
- About us/teams page on the company website
- Google search
2) Outline your unique experiences
Having a clear idea beforehand of what you want to convey to your target audience is a good strategy. You get the time to handpick valuable experiences and highlight them in your pitch. This is crucial because whether you are pitching face-to-face or on LinkedIn, you have limited time and attention span. Hence, it is essential to talk about the most relevant, results-oriented, and action-driven elements of your professional life.
How to create a perfect networking pitch
1) Introduce yourself
Start your message by mentioning your name and describing what you do at a high level. This is necessary to give your target audience an idea of your background. However, be careful not to overstuff information. They may not be interested in knowing what you do on a day-to-day basis but would want to learn what you do broadly to establish credibility.
2) Explain your reason for reaching out to them
The next important part of your message is your reason to reach out to them. Sometimes, professionals avoid adding their reasons in the initial message, hoping to talk about it in the following message or directly on a call. This can be an issue because your target audience may assume it to be a sales call, ending up not giving you a response.
In your message, explain how their organizational goals and values are aligned with your personal goals and values. Allow them to know what you are capable of doing and how you can add value to them, helping them reach their goals. This will enable them to understand your capabilities and motivation, enhancing the chances of a positive response.
3) Add a call to action
Imagine inviting someone for dinner and not giving them your address. They wouldn’t know where to go. Similarly, if you reach out to someone and do not tell them how to get back to you, you wouldn’t gain any value from the conversation. In many cases, they may not give you an answer on the spot. That’s where a call to action will play a role.
A call to action is generally a request to your target audience to complete a task, such as giving feedback, scheduling a meeting or simply responding to your message. It motivates them to get back to you or do something in your favor. Hence, we strongly suggest adding one to your pitch to increase your chances of getting a response.
Furthermore, we recommend adding alternative contact information for your target audience. For example, if you are sending a message on LinkedIn, you could add your email ID. When speaking in person, you could pass on your business card to them.
You can find an example of an effective networking pitch to a target employer below.
Hi <first name>,
My name is Jack, and I work as an HR Manager at XYZ Ltd. I have been following your work in developing workplace wellbeing initiatives for quite some time and admire your effort. After having worked for X years in the industry, managing professionals at all levels, I understand the need to address employee wellbeing. In my previous jobs, I have spearheaded multiple wellbeing initiatives for employees and am currently leading a large-scale employee project.
I recently heard about your workplace wellness program where you are looking to partner with other HR leaders. I would love to have an opportunity to work with you on this project. Kindly let me know if you are interested in discussing this further.
Please feel free to contact me here or on my personal email- firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Tips to remember
1) Customize your pitch
It is important for you to customize your pitch based on your target audience. It keeps your content relevant and creates a favorable impression. On the other hand, a non-customized pitch exhibits a lack of commitment and unpreparedness. It also reduces the chances of success in that conversation. Thus, we strongly recommend customizing your pitch based on your initial research about your target audience.
2) Check for grammatical errors
In cases where you pitch to your target audience through LinkedIn or email, it is imperative to check for tone, language, and grammatical errors. An efficient way to do this is to run your content through a grammar checker software such as Grammarly or Scribens. This will ensure that all your content is accurate, well-written, and grammatically correct.
3) Keep it succinct and engaging
Another key tip is to keep your message short and to the point. Most professionals wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time reading long, untargeted messages from strangers. Succinct and engaging messages will enhance your chances of receiving a positive response from your target audience.
4) Respect their time
This tip is for professionals engaging in face-to-face conversations with their target audience. You need to make sure that they have the time to speak with you. You can do this by directly checking with them. If not, ask for another time convenient to them. Moreover, make sure to finish your conversation on time as they may be running late.
An effective networking pitch can do wonders for you. It can help you communicate with relevant people, taking you a step closer to your dream job. While networking can be overwhelming at times, it is a key component of a strategic job search. If you are looking to strategize your networking plan, we would be happy to assist you in identifying and reaching out to the right people in the most effective manner.