Create a 10 Second Introduction From Your USP

You can generate a ton of business by networking, whether you belong to a networking organization or just get referrals from existing (satisfied) customers. Whenever you meet a new potential client, it's important to create the right impression about you and your business straight away. That's where a 10 second introduction comes in handy ? and the more this introduction stands out from the rest, the more likely your new acquaintance is to remember you.

One great way of making your introduction stand out and to really grab the attention of the person you're introducing yourself to is to put an unexpected twist right at the start. One lady I know starts her introduction: "Hello, I'm Jane Doe, and I want to root through your trash cans." Now that's an introduction that nails everybody's attention ? and leaves them wanting more. The lady in question is an environmental consultant and helps companies reduce the amount of waste they produce ? hence rooting through the trash.

Spending some time thinking about how you can present your business in a truly unusual light will turn out to be a great investment in the long run. Write down all the things you typically do in your business and see how you can twist them around to make people ask "You can't really do that for a living?"

But that is only the beginning, of course. Now that you have grabbed their attention you have to follow up with something useful. Nobody would ever hire somebody to go through their trash, no matter how interesting that sounds as a job description. So now's the time to follow up with your USP, some strong benefits and your guarantee if you have one. Let's say you're a printer. Your USP is that you always deliver on time. Your introduction could read:

"Hello, I'm Joe Smith. I'm an undertaker's nightmare." Now you should have the undivided attention of the person you're talking to. An undertaker's nightmare? So you go on: "That's because I want to be buried in paperwork." [Yes, I know, that was a terrible pun. But be honest ? it got your attention, right? And that's what counts.]

"I run a printing business. We do any kind of print run, from as little as 100 copies of a monochrome flyer to ten thousand full-color catalogues. And we promise that we will deliver on time, [USP] so you can be sure to have your materials when you need them [Benefit]. We're so sure of that that we promise to knock 15% off our fee for each day, should a project ever be late. [Guarantee]"

And that's your business in a memorable nutshell. Just as the environmental consultant is now known to everybody as "The trash can lady", this printer could be famous as "The undertaker's nightmare". The point is to be instantly recognized and remembered by the people you've met ? so their next project goes to you instead of the person who just said: "Hello, I'm John Doe and I'm a printer"

So, to recap, a great 10 second introduction needs:

· A way to introduce your business that will grab the listener's attention.

· A short description of what you do, including your USP and benefits.

· A Guarantee (if you have one. If you don't, think about getting one!)

Get all these elements together and you'll see that people will remember you ? and give you their business.

Frauke Nonnenmacher is a copywriter who specialises in marketing materials designed to build customer relationships. For more information, please visit her web site at http://www.creativecats.com

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