You have heard us discuss verbal brands in the past. That’s where you describe what you do in five seconds or less and in such a way that it generates a two-way discussion. While that exchange starts on business, do not be afraid to share a little bit about yourself as part of the talk.

You’re probably thinking, “Go off topic? Are you nuts?”

First, those are two very separate questions. Second, the verbal brand starts the getting to know you process. While a lot of that will be about business, it’s also about you. We tend to do business with people we know and, even better we like. People usually like people who they have things in common with. And that common ground could be anything.

For example…

“Your kids play soccer? Mine, too.”

“You’re in a band? I used to play the bass.”

“You live in Scituate? I used to go there as a kid. Do you know…”

It really could be anything. But part of the networking process has got to include a little you to break the ice and lay the foundation of the relationship.

In our My Pinnacle Network meetings, we will occasionally ask members to share a fact about themselves that nobody in the group knows. Over the years, we have heard a number of answers ranging from “I was a professional bowler” to “I keep bees and sell the honey”. Yet one of the more common responses is about playing an instrument and/or being in a band.  And it’s almost magical to watch the faces of people light up as they share their musical pasts.

Does this lead to more leads and referrals being passed among musicians? It’s difficult to document but the uneducated guess here is it improves the likelihood. But you can always ask MPN’s resident musician Jonathan LaMaster, shown here at a recent gig.

The point to all of this is networking is a package deal-what your business does and what you bring to that  business. Don’t lose sight of that.