60-Second Commercial

At some point during a networking event, you will have a chance to talk about your business - whether it's a formal part of the event where you speak in front of everyone or it's during informal one-on-one conversations. You need to have a 60-second commercial prepared and memorized before attending the event so that you can easily, calmly, and succinctly talk about your business. When preparing your 60-second commercial, use language that your listeners will understand and avoid using industry-specific jargon or little known technical terms. Sounding smart is less important than using language to which your listeners can genuinely connect.

Here's a structure for your 60-second commercial:

1. Fact First: Begin with an interesting, relevant fact that will create immediate interest among your listeners. You can phrase it as a statement or as a question. For example, if you are a business consultant, you might lead with the following fact:

"Did you know that only 20% of start-up business make it past 5 years? The other 80% fail not because of a lack of talent or skill, but because they lack the knowledge of how to run a business."

The fact you select must be easily relatable to your products or services, and be relevant to your audience.

2. Benefits: Describe what you do and highlight the benefits you bring to your clients. For example:

"People who work with me get the proper support, training and guidance they need to operate a successful business. I teach them how to be great at running the business."

As with the "Fact First," the benefits must be relevant to your audience. You may have to adjust the wording of your benefits on the fly, but if you initiated your conversation with curious, relationship-building questions and then gave your 60-second commercial, then you will know how to phrase your benefits appropriately for that person's unique situation.

3. Validation: Describe a brief scenario in which your product or service helped someone. For example:

"One of my clients was confused about how to make her business work. After she hired me, we developed a functional business plan that allowed her to strategically manage and develop her business as well as lead her employees. Her business took a 180-degree turn; it business was no longer running her, she was running her business."

4. Conclusion: The conclusion is your call to action. It's how you invite the other person to take the next step. For example:

"If you want to ensure that you are part of the 20% of business owners who succeed, then let's sit down and create a plan that will make that a reality for you. Would you be willing to do that?"

With that type of conclusion, it's easy to set up an appointment or a follow-up meeting.


Ed Abel has invested more than three decades learning how to build a successful, thriving business. At age 24 with a $5,000 loan and the energy and passion of a young entrepreneur, Ed was ready to take on the world. And he did, only to emerge seven years later at the top of a $36 million organization with 585 employees. Inspired by the challenges that led him to success, Ed went on to build other multi-million dollar businesses, yet he missed the passion he experienced "in the trenches" of his f...

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