Networking without the sales pitch
Have you heard this: "Network, Network, Network! ? Of course you have. It's the standard advice for jobseekers. But when you network, do you lead with your 30-second pitch? Liz Ryan says that's the least interesting thing about you (via Dave Taylor):
HIM: "Hello Jane - I'm Andrew. What do you do?"
YOU: "Oh, I have a full-service marketing agency, creating brand identities for clients in print and online. We do website design and create kick-ass marketing collateral materials, and so some logo design. Also—"
Oh dear. It hasn't even been ten seconds, and poor Andrew is wishing he'd chatted up that fellow in the corner with the pince-nez, instead of Jane.
Liz and Dave both make good points about conversation. It comes down to this: networking is about meeting people. Otherwise, you end up with this:
Probably not the reaction you're looking for, but that's what the elevator pitch is—advertising. Engage people in an interesting conversation. They'll be glad they talked to you, which is a lot faster way of getting them into your network than force-feeding them your elevator pitch.