It can be awkward to talk about your business to others in social events and not sound like a walking billboard. But like with most things, practice makes perfect. The more you talk about your business, the more comfortable it will become.
Define What You Do and Who You Do It For
First things first; you need to know in your own mind what you do and who you do it for. Knowing why you do it helps too. If you can talk to people about your customers and not about yourself, you’ll endear yourself to them more.
Listen More Than You Talk
One of the very best ways to handle these public situations is to listen more than you talk. As they say, you were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen twice as much as you speak. When you do that, even if you then talk about your business when you are able, no one will think you are pushy.
Practice Your Elevator Speech
You should be able to deliver a 30-second introduction to what you do, why you do it, and who you do it for without sounding too practiced or salesy. It may sound counter-intuitive to practice, but you want it to sound natural and you want to be able to change the way you phrase things based on the conversation you’re having.
Create a Bumper Sticker
No, don’t really make a sticker for your bumper, but take this idea and use your 30-second introduction to your business and boil it down to about 10 seconds. That way you can use these words in answer to questions people ask you in a social setting.
Listen for Pain Points
Whenever you are talking to people about your business and you realize that you are talking to a potential ideal client, listen carefully for their pain points so that you can capitalize on that knowledge later.
In all social situations it’s very important that you are genuinely true to yourself. If you try to be someone else it will come through as fake. You want to be seen as trusted, and the best way to do that is to be true to yourself and be yourself.
Be Proud of Your Business
If you’re not in a business that you’re proud of, there is a problem. But more than likely you are proud but you may be in a habit of saying, “I’m just a…” which is always a mistake. You’re not “just” anything. You are important and successful.
Educate Yourself about Your Industry
To help build your confidence when talking to people in social situations, learn all that you can about your industry. This will help you answer questions, understand the technology, and recognize an opportunity when you see it.
Telling people about your business without it seeming like you’re pitching to them is an art that you’ll need to practice to get right. If you’re proud of what you do, it will show through and not seem like you’re trying to trick anyone or make a sale.