COACH'S CORNER By Victoria Del Frate
What? You don’t have a Unique Selling Proposition (U.S.P.)? Guess you might as well just skip the next Chamber After-hours Mixer. Oh, well.
Oh, heck no!
You may have been taught/told at one time or
another by a well-meaning networking guru, mentor, or branch manager that you should have a script
prepared to communicate your unique brand, niche,
approach, philosophy, or whatever else it is about you
that may separate you from your competition and
make you a stand-out, PRIOR to you engaging in any
I’m here to tell you that those types of scripts are
NOT what will make you a successful networker, will
likely create a road-block to you actually getting out
there and networking in the first place, and are actually better suited for subsequent conversations once
you’ve identified professionals from the networking
event and invited them to one-on-one meetings over
coffee or when visiting their offices at a later date.
It may help to think of the networking event as
just another social gathering or party you might attend. You don’t base your decision on whether you’re
going to go on having an opening line do you?
Instead of worrying about how you’re going to
thoroughly impress someone with your scripted
Unique Selling Proposition, focus instead on connecting, being curious about other people, listening, and
keeping your “feelers” open. The fact is that people
will remember you more for how you made them
feel, not necessarily what you said.
If you ask questions, rather than spitting out state-
ments about yourself, you give other people a chance
to open up and relax, plus most people find it fun to
talk about their own interests, victories, and passions
Here are some examples of questions you can
ask your table-mates at the next event you attend
that will lend to a much more enjoyable and purposeful networking experience for all:
1. How frequently do you attend networking functions and what other types of networking have
you done in the past?
2. What’s your opinion about social networking
and business? Do you think it works in gaining
3. Who helped you get your business started? Did
you have any mentors, coaches, or partners?
4. What’s challenging about your clients/custom-ers? What types of sales objections do you run
up against? What’s worked in overcoming these
objections for you?
Really, just four or five, open-ended questions,
ones in which you’d really be interested in hearing the
answers, will do.
Now, instead of feeling anxious about being in the
spotlight, you can put the spotlight on everyone else.
No need for a scripted U.S.P. at all - Networking Myth
Coach Victoria‘s passion is working one-on-one with
highly motivated business professionals to maximize their
personal effectiveness as they develop their vision, define
their goals, take action and build strong foundations to
ensure their continued success. She can be reached at
Networking Myth Buster #1:
You must have a U.S.P.
in order to Network Effectively