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A forced 60 second pitch is more likely to burn bridges than build relationships.

When networking face to face, there’s nothing wrong with having a 60-second (or elevator) pitch up your sleeves. A concise summary of who you are and what you do can be helpful in introducing yourself to others and making a strong first impression. It gives people a clear idea of what you have to offer and can open the door for further conversation. But ……

However, it's equally important to listen and respond to any questions or comments from others. Remember, networking is a two-way street, and engaging in meaningful conversations is crucial for building relationships. Be attentive and show genuine interest in the other person's story and business. Ask thoughtful questions and actively listen to their answers. This will not only help you establish better more meaningful connections but also allow you to gather valuable insights and information that can be beneficial to your own needs for mutual benefit.

So, while having a 60-second pitch prepared is useful, remember that networking is about building relationships and engaging with others. For that reason better to be open and adaptable to the situation and focus on actively listening and responding to the needs and interests of those you interact with. If you are asked “what does your company do?” then by all means answer but an unwanted 60 second pitch is more likely to burn bridges than build relationships.

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