How to Craft an Introduction

They call it an “Elevator Pitch”.  Short and sweet, it is the appetizer that leaves your prospect salivating for the main course.   In the business world it is a necessity.   A successful elevator pitch is about more than words.  It’s how they’re delivered.  Having a passionate delivery to an elevator pitch will lead to sales.

Tom Steenburgh, associate professor at Harvard Business School, said successful pitches start with the problem that your product or service is trying to solve — not with the product or service itself.

Begin with a crisp summary paragraph that rolls off the tongue and describes what you do in 25 words or less — it's an elevator pitch within an elevator pitch.  Keep the whole pitch to 250 words or less. 

If you are approaching 2 minutes you are at the max., think about editing.  If you can't be concise it suggests, to them, you may not understand what is unique and special about your product or service.

Next, practice, practice, practice.  See how it feels.  Does it roll off your tongue?  Did you miss key points?   Does your message carry the confidence, energy and passion it deserves?

You have built a need and you have the solution.  Be prepared to provide evidence to that fact.  This builds credibility in the eyes of the prospect.   

Listen to their first question.  If they ask, “What is it you do?”  It could mean two things, your pitch wasn't clear enough or you have built a need and he wants more information about your services or product.

Nobody is going to sell a product or service in an elevator pitch.  That is not it's function, it is merely to get the conversation started. 

Most of all don't forget why you’re doing the elevator pitch to begin with, ask for that meeting.  Ask with all the confidence and optimism you can.

Reference:   Elevator Pitch Essentials, by Chris O'Leary.


I was thinking about the Dodgers and the Angels and started thinking about the teams, how they did last year and the expectations for the year ahead.  

Then I started thinking about the word, 'TEAM', and came to the conclusion, while there are many definitions for the word, 'TEAM', you can expand the definition to BTN. 

BTN (n) A group of individuals with different strengths and weaknesses working together to achieve a common goal.

A good team will always perform better than an individual.  Even though each person has different experiences and skill-sets, a good team offers a sounding board to take advantage of the best each has to offer.

On a team there is no room for selfishness or egos.  In a Network, sharing and giving are the formula for success.  Bound by a sense of values, we form a close knit community lifting each other up, just as you would a teammate  on the field. 

Working together as one we can achieve success easier and quicker than working individually.


Maybe you have been a member of Building Trades Network for a few months and you haven't quite got the hang of it.  Or maybe you just joined and this networking stuff is all new to you.  

The membership manual covers the plethora of subjects in detail.   But who reads manuals.

This isn't rocket science.  When it comes right down to it common sense will rule the day.  

A couple simple phrases is all you need to pull it all together.   So without asking for the moon or being unreasonable, ask yourself, “What would I expect of them?” or if I were them, “What would I expect of me?”

Let's start with, “Building relationships makes for better networking.”  What do I mean by that?  It means the more you know about a business or person, the easier it is to recommend them.  So it would follow that you can't build relationships if you don't attend the meetings regularly.  

So, what are the expectations? Common sense says it all starts with attending the meetings regularly.  But we also encourage, what we at BTN call coffee breaks.

Coffee breaks are simple one on one meetings where you can learn more about each other and your businesses. 

But, what if I can't attend a meeting? I would expect BTN to allow absences.  BTN understands that you have a business to run and there will be times that you can't attend a meeting.   But to network effectively you still need to build those relationships.

BTN has the simple solution…. A stand in.  It can be one of your employees, a partner or another business associate. Just fill out a stat sheet and give it to your stand in.  Or you can give them the stats and we will help them fill out the form.

A stand-in gives us a chance and to learn a little more about you and others who work with you.  The room is paid for anyway so it won't cost your stand-in to attend.

This brings up another common sense thing.  Whether you attend the meeting or not, the coffee is still there, the room is still in use and you still have to pay your five dollars a week.  (Or pay for the month in advance.)

What else would I expect from me if I were BTN?   I would want me to bring a visitor to the meetings.  If the category is open. They may want to join.   As BTN grows, so does your network.  It is a Win, Win, Win.

What would I expect of other members of BTN?  I would expect them to give my referrals prompt, honest, quality service and pricing.   I want them to make me look good and stand behind their work.

BTN wants all of our members to be accountable, for good and hopefully not for bad.  That is why we encourage all of our members to use the “RATE THIS MEMBER” link located on each BTN profile. 

If there is an issue between members, we ask that the members first attempt to work it out together.  If that fails the appropriate person on the in the BTN leadership to address the situation would be Dennis Bishop (the membership foreman).  

Other Expectations:

A BTN meeting begins with a short time in the beginning to mingle and network.  For this reason it is important for all members arrive on time to the meetings.

But it is equally important that mingling time is spent Standing-up.   When a visitor or a stand-in comes to the meeting, it is more welcoming to walk into a room where people are standing and mingling as opposed to walking into a room where everyone is sitting and their back is to them.

Also is it asking too much to silence your phone?

Accurate statistics.  In networking it may seem like he who has the most business cards wins.  But in business it comes down to dollars and cents.  Accuracy is important and it is a tangible that will actually help bring new trades to the group.  “Success breeds Success”. 

True Networking is not collecting cards.  It is building those relationships. 

BTN has a blueprint for success.  Professionalism and accountability, character and integrity, family and community they are the foundation on which success is built.  Your participation is the mortar that will build those relationships.

What is Networking?

Definition: Developing and using contacts made in business for purposes beyond the reason for the initial contact. For example, a sales representative may ask a customer for names of others who may be interested in his product.

Many people go to networking events, but how many people really know how to network effectively.  Networking, in the eyes of most people, is getting out and meeting people.  But when you think about it isn’t it more.  Ask a successful networker and they will tell you that networking is a structured plan to get to know people who will do business with you or introduce you to those who will.

To make the best plan, ask yourself:

          1.  What makes an effective networker?

– When answering this, think about what a good networker does.  How does he or she act? What is his or her basic attitude?

2.  What do I want to achieve?

– When thinking about this, be specific in setting your goals.  For example, a good goal may be “To give at least 6 referrals per month.” Or “to greet every guest that comes to a meeting.”

The trick with networking is to be proactive. This means taking control of the situation instead of just reacting to it. Networking requires going beyond your comfort zone and challenging yourself.  If you put the effort out, people will respond.