Networking is not just for job searches. There are countless reasons to build stronger relationships in your company, community and industry.
Networking allows you to:
Generate leads for business development
Learn /share/support with others in your market
Tap into information to change jobs
Build your reputation internally and externally
Build powerful sponsors and champions within your organization and industry
Socialize and test the waters for ideas
For networking success it’s essential to be able to communicate who you are and what you can offer (and eventually what you need from the other person). This is your value proposition.
What is a value proposition?
“Promise of value to be delivered and belief from customer that value will be experienced.” – Wikipedia
There is a definite art to communicating why someone should buy from you, partner with you, hire you, follow you, or listen to you. This is an essential skill for in any business, no matter what your role or stage.
The other person must be able to see why you are different, better, and worth investing in with a purchase, an action, time spent, etc.
Four Criteria of Value Propositions
An effective value proposition includes these four criteria:
Value – What do you deliver, to whom, and how?
Unique message – What is your positioning, what specific results to do you deliver, and how are you different from your competitors?
Clear and to the point – Can you articulate your message quickly, i.e., in the time it would take to ride an elevator?
Believable – Can you show evidence of the value you deliver through specific examples, even name dropping (if appropriate)? Do you project executive presence, no matter what your role?
Here is an example from a marketing services firm, which applies these elements:
“We help small companies grow profitably through serving as their marketing department. We create unique websites, and build market awareness through public relations and advertising.
For example: (1) The marketing event we created for Green Furniture resulted in sustained 120% sales increase. (2) Jones Landscape Design company reported increased SEO traffic the first day we rewrote their web content. (3) Our advertising campaign rocketed Cookie Inc.’s business, which resulted in them gaining the #1 market share spot in the cookie delivery business in Ft. Worth.”
Could you articulate your value, or the value of your idea or proposal, in the time it takes to ride an elevator with someone? Please add your comment below, or share with me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or email.