Posted by Jennifer Iverson
A sound bite (or elevator speech) is designed to start a conversation. While attending a national networking function in Chicago, if Ms. Lawyer is asked about her line of work and she replies, “I’m a biotech lawyer.” That just ended the conversation.
A better sound bite introduction for Ms. Lawyer has three parts:
1) I am…”I am a lawyer in the Biotech Practice Group of a Madison, Wisconsin-based law firm.”
2) I work with…”I work with senior executives, R&D directors, venture capitalists, and others working in the biotech industry.”
3) To solve…(Ms. Lawyer describes the type of problem she might solve) “To make sure that new drugs and products receive FDA approval on time, on budget, and with unexpected surprises. In this regard, and over the years, I’ve become well integrated in the biotech arena which I find incredibly interesting given all that’s happening locally, nationally and globally.”
This sound bite introduction is designed around how a referral source or prospect thinks, not how Ms. Lawyer thinks. Her focus should be on introducing herself, her practice and/or her firm, in a way that sparks a conversation and creates interest for a deeper discussion.
Hopeful replies to Ms. Lawyer might be, “Very interesting, and exactly how did you end up getting in to this line of work? Do you have a science background? Do you ever get the chance to visit actual labs? I’m writing an article on U.S. labs? What are some of the most alarming national and then global issues you see?”
Now that Ms. Lawyer has a conversation started, she can begin to answer and more importantly, ask questions: Which biotech or pharma companies do you work for and with? In what kind of biotech ventures have you been involved? How long does it usually take to get FDA approval? Have you been involved in the market roll out of any name brand pharmaceuticals? What products and companies compete with you?
Ms. Lawyer’s ultimate goal here is to listen carefully and ask exploratory questions to help determine potential business issues/problems she could possibly help with…or, determine if this new contact would be more of a referral source then a prospective client…she can then wrap up the introduction by suggesting coffee/lunch or another means for following up.