Elements of an Effective 30-Second Introduction

By Sabrina Risley
One of the greatest networking challenges I hear from professionals is knowing what constitutes an effective 30-second introduction.  This is often called a 30-second commercial or elevator speech.  Regardless of its name, when delivered effectively, a powerful 30-second introduction can open windows of opportunity for you and your business.
The goal of the 30-second introduction is simply to catch the attention of contacts, power partners and fellow colleagues when you are asked “what do you do for a living?”  It is not meant to be used to make a sale or close a deal, but rather to give just enough information causing others to become curious and interested in knowing more about what you do.  You want to give just enough information to gain their interest without overwhelming them with the nitty-gritty details of your products/services. When you rattle off too much information, your listeners may become overwhelmed, shut down and you lose out on the opportunity to relate and share on a more personal level.
To ensure your 30-second introduction packs a powerful punch, here are some factors to keep in mind:
  • Everyone gets nervous when delivering their introduction, especially when standing in front of a group.  Take a deep breath and don’t rush through your words.
  • Speak clearly, slowly, intentionally and project your voice through your entire introduction.
  • Use concise and relevant points related to what you do and how you serve others.
  • Make eye contact with each individual and don’t “skim” the room. Making eye contact helps you to connect with each person and give the feeling that you are speaking to an individual rather than a room full of people.
  • Practice before you speak.  Take time to think about what you are going to say, test it out on friends, your coach, or power partners and ask for their feedback.  If you are nervous, it’s okay to read from a notecard.  You can even let people know it’s a new introduction as they will empathize with your vulnerability and honesty.
  • Know your audience and be prepared with a few different introductions. It’s important to be flexible depending upon who you are addressing.
  • Since you only have 30 seconds, highlight one product/service versus sharing details on everything you offer.  Trying to cover too many products/services forces you to be general and vague about each.  Highlight a different product/service the next time you do your introduction, allowing people to learn more about you each time you deliver your introduction.
  • Leave people wanting to know a little more so they are intrigued and want to talk with you further about what you offer. The best thing is to have someone come up after an event and ask questions about what you offer.
  • Mention the target market you are able to or enjoy helping most (ie, realtor enjoys first-time home buyers, interior designer enjoys helping professionals arrange their office space for greatest efficiency).
  • End with a catchy slogan or special you are offering.
  • Above all, be respectful and do not go over any time limits set for your introduction.
(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

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Answering “So, What Do You Do For A Living?”

By Sabrina Risley

One of the most popular questions asked of the professional at a networking event is “So, what do you do for a living?” or “What is your business?” Many can’t wait for their opportunity to share their story, yet answering this question is often worrisome to professionals. How should you answer and where do you start? 
 
My studies have taught me that there are a few key factors to bear in mind before diving into your answer.  
 
Be confident. Let others see how excited you are about your products or services. If you are not excited, others won’t be either. 
 
Just be yourself. Be authentic and let your personality shine through. People buy from and refer to people they know and have come to like and trust so let them get to know the real you.
 
Be clear and concise. Prepare your answer in advance if needed so you can remain focused and to the point. Refrain from outlining the many products and services you offer as this can be overwhelming to the other person.
 
Do not sell. All you want to do is pique the other person’s interest. If they ask follow up questions, expand a little but don’t push too hard. Provide information as they continue to ask questions either because they are curious, perhaps interested in buying or they may have someone in mind to refer to you.  However, avoid going into “hard sell” mode.
 
Highlight the benefits. Perhaps the most important is to focus on the benefits you provide and how you or your products/services help others.   For example, if you are an accountant with a firm that provides tax, bookkeeping, and payroll services, you want to focus on what these services help others achieve. What is the benefit you provide your clients?
Accountant: I take the frustrating tasks off my clients’ hands and, in the process, help them save thousands of dollars each year.
 
Personal Trainer: I help people reclaim their confidence and easily maintain a healthy lifestyle.
 
Personal Chef:  I bring families back to the dinner table to reconnect and catch up on their day.
 
Help them understand. As follow up questions are asked, a great way to boil it down is to explain your ideal client. 
 
Accountant: My ideal client is a small business owner who complains about filing tax returns. I can help them set up a system or take the task off their hands and keep them compliant.
 
Personal Trainer: A good referral for me is the frustrated yo-yo dieter.  I’ve helped many lose weight who had previously complained that their dieting efforts never paid off.
 
Personal Chef:  My clients tend to be dual-income families with children who have trouble getting dinner on the table to eat together as a family.
 
Bob Burg (co-author of Go-Givers Sell More) reminds us of the sales expression:   You can’t say the wrong thing to the right person, and you can’t say the right thing to the wrong person
 
So don’t get too caught up in your answer or a specific outcome you want to achieve. Focus on the benefits, how you help others, be yourself, and keep it short and sweet. If the person you’re speaking with isn’t interested in your product/service, perhaps they know someone who is.
(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

Managing The Fear And Anxieties of Finding Another Job

By: Stanley Popovich

Layoffs in today’s business world are common and with it comes the fear and anxiety of finding another job. With this in mind, here is a list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their stresses and anxieties in finding a new job.

A technique that can be used to reduce the stress of finding another job is to divide the task into a series of smaller steps and then complete each of the smaller tasks one at a time. For instance, the first thing you should do is to determine what kind of job you want. Once you know what you are looking for, the next step is to update and prepare your resume. Once that is finished, you should then concentrate on finding the companies that interest you and send your resume to them. Once you submit your resume, the next step is to prepare for the job interview. By completing these smaller tasks, you will reduce your stress and anxiety and increase your chances of finding another job.

Sometimes you may get depressed during your job search. Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that make us feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed, open up your small notebook and read those statements.

In addition, it also helps to write down a list of things you are thankful for in this world. For instance:  good health, a good marriage, lots of friends, being smart and resourceful, and a good education are things that any person can be thankful for. Whenever you get discouraged in finding another job, take out your list and focus on the things that make you happy. This technique will make you feel better and give you more encouragement to continue with the job search.

Sometimes, we may be nervous doing a certain task that may be scary. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you have an interview in a few days. Before the big day comes, imagine that you are in the interview. Imagine that you are talking to the manager about your qualifications. By practicing the interview using your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-Visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.

Finding a new job can be tough, however remember to take it one day at a time. While the consequences of a particular fear may seem real, there are usually other factors that can’t be anticipated and can affect the results of any situation. Focus on the present and do your best each day.

Our anxieties and stresses can be difficult to manage when finding a new job. Managing your stress during a job search takes practice. Be patient and in time you will become better in dealing with your anxieties.

Contributed by:

Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” – an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/.

Benefits to Outsourcing Your Bookkeeping

Outsourcing your bookkeeping tasks is a simple, cost-effective way to aid the small business owner in maintaining accurate accounting records without having to constantly employ a high-cost CPA. Additionally, outsourcing your bookkeeping is an excellent way to ensure that the smaller accounting tasks are completed as they need to be done.

Often times the small business owner doesn’t have enough bookkeeping work to keep a bookkeeper busy on even a part-time basis which will make it difficult to fill such a position within the company.  Freelance bookkeepers offer a variety of services to the business owner, including customer invoicing and statements, whether monthly or as needed; processing accounts payables, preparing Form 1099 and year end Form W-2’s, payroll services; preparing monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements; bank account reconciliations; and a variety of other services.

Some freelance bookkeeping services provide any forms that you may need and even computer software, such as QuickBooks, that you may want to use. By outsourcing the bookkeeping duties, the business owner can focus on marketing, growth in sales and even the human relations within the company. Although the business owner may not have the time or maybe the knowledge to handle the bookkeeping duties themselves, by outsourcing, they can rest easy knowing their day-to-day accounting needs are being met and are accurate. Additionally, outsourcing the bookkeeping tasks can save the business owner up to 40% in costs. There would be no need to provide office, space, additional office supplies, or pay for other costs that are not typically considered on a regular basis such as electric, water and other utilities, etc. Such costs are still paid for in the fees that are paid to the freelance bookkeeping company; however, they are typically less costly than if the business was absorbing all the costs in all the areas associated with bookkeeping themselves. These costs would be minimal because they are possibly divided between several businesses using the same freelance bookkeeping company, or maybe the small business owner chooses to employ the services of an individual who works from their home. Those overhead expenses would then be shared with the regular operation of the freelance bookkeeper’s home office. Freelance bookkeepers are sometimes trained by CPA’s and/or have completed a college education with a focus on accounting.

It is important for the business owner to remember that although the outsourcing bookkeeping service is most likely qualified to complete tax returns, most do not offer this service. The preparation and filing of annual tax returns is typically the responsibility of the CPA or financial advisor of the company. Additionally, most do not offer a review of the financial statements that they prepare for the company.  Freelance bookkeeping services realize that businesses come in all sizes and they are equipped and able to handle businesses of all sizes, from only one or two individuals to many employees in a variety of different departments. The opportunities and benefits that outsourcing bookkeeping tasks are endless, but the most important is probably the fact that necessary tasks are being completed as needed in a timely manner and the work performed will be accurate.

Contributed by:
Joy Phelan
Magical Bookkeeping Solutions, LLC
225 Union Blvd., Ste #150
Lakewood, CO 80228
303-974-6997 Office
720-221-0723 fax
www.lakewoodbookkeepingaccounting.com

Dealing With The Anxieties And Stresses Of Managing Your Own Business

By Stanley Popovich

Many business owners have to deal with a lot of stress and anxiety nowadays. It can be tough to own your own business and to be successful in what you do. As a result, here are some suggestions on how you can reduce the stress of owning your own business.

The first step is to manage your expenses and pay your bills on time. Develop a budget, do not spend more than what you make, and learn to reduce your expenses when you can.

Learn to manage your responsibilities by assigning certain tasks to others. If you do not have time to do the accounting, then let your assistant do it. You are only one person and can only do so much on a given day. Do what is most important and delegate the rest.

Talk with your customers and employees on a regular basis. Find out what is on their minds. Ask for any suggestions on how to improve business productivity and morale. Communicating with your workers and clients will help prevent future problems and conflicts.

Most importantly, develop a business plan and follow it. Being organized and goal oriented is very important in managing a business. Following a plan or set of goals will prevent you from a lot of stress and anxiety. It is much easier to accomplish anything once you have a plan.

Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming month, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your business problems. Hopefully, when the time comes, you will have learned the skills to deal with your situation.

Be smart in how you deal with your business problems. Do not try to tackle everything all at once. When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, break the task into a series of smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increase your chances of success.

Managing a business can be stressful, but the key is knowing how to manage your anxieties. There is a right way and wrong way to manage a business. Continue to learn effective techniques in managing your business and improve your bottom line. This will go a long way in getting rid of your stress and other business problems.

Contributed By:

Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” – an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/ 
 

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