They say, “there’s a time and place for everything.” But there is really no room for your elevator speech at a casual networking (or getting-to-know-you) event.

And it is certainly not a great opener when you’re meeting someone new with whom you’d like to develop a relationship.

What is an elevator speech, you ask? It is typically a 15-30 second overview of your business, products or services offered. Not the best follow-up to “Hello. How are you?”

You are More than your Job

Sure, much of what you are looking to do when connecting with other business professionals is to grow your business and/or referral base. But how many people that have approached you with a sales pitch first, do you remember? While your elevator speech is great when seeking a promotion or when you are introducing yourself to a room prior to giving a professional talk, on a personal level you should get, well…more personal.

Discuss Personal Interests

Love sports? Take a trip recently? Celebrating an accomplishment? Share it! And ask if the person you are meeting has done the same. Don’t just talk about yourself. Ask questions, too. Learn about his or her family, or simply see how your new acquaintance enjoys spending his or her free time. When you dig a bit deeper, you build a stronger bond and allow for the opportunity to connect over shared interests.

Your new friend is also more likely to remember your conversation. That can lead to business for you, too! How? They will more easily remember your name, your face and what goes along with it if they ever need a professional service or product you are able to provide. They may even refer you to others if they feel your interaction was positive.

Here’s to getting a bit more personable!

Want to meet other area professionals and make new friends? Join us! Learn more about Pagoda Business Network online at