Network, network, network. The bread and butter of business. It’s so crucial!
As an entrepreneur you’ve probably been to your fair share of networking events. You understand that to make your business grow you need to network. But what do you do when you’re an introvert?
Networking can be awkward. It’s almost like you’re on a first date trying to make long term commitments. Right after asking their name you’re already thinking, “could I see myself working with you in the future?” It all feels too soon right?
But remember, you’re there to develop quality connections! Push pass the awkwardness and stay focused on growing your business.
Here are the top 3 business networking tips for introverts!
1. Structured networking events
Structure, structure, structure. Introverts feel lost without it. It’s always good to know what’s next on the agenda. So try and opt for the structured networking events. Ones that require everyone to give a quick 1 minute pitch. Yes it may be daunting and the thought of a room of people looking at you for a 60 whole seconds might be long enough to make you physically sick however it’s essential. Just think of it like this, you only have to speak for 60 seconds and you can speak to 30 people at the same time. That’s 29 less times you have to engage in small talk! WIN
You may also find that if you give a good pitch then people will come to you! So that means no awkward conversation starters! DOUBLE WIN
2. Find people that YOU can help
It goes without saying. Make sure you listen to everyone’s pitches. Listen to what they say. No doubt you’re good at this anyway but remember to jot down which ones resonated with you. Try and pick out 2 or 3 people that seem to have similar interests to you or someone that you think you could help.
Remember, the best networking isn’t just about seeing what you can get out of people, it’s also what you can give! Go in with the mind-set that you want to help someone! That will come natural for most of us anyway!
3. Don’t schedule too much
Don’t try and fit in two networking events in one day. That’s introvert suicide. Don’t even schedule 2 a week if you can’t handle it. Don’t underestimate the amount of energy it will take for you to do all this interacting. Allow yourself plenty of downtime after each event because no doubt you’ll want to analyse everything little thing you said [and didn’t say] so give yourself time to do that. Perhaps schedule in a day where you spend at home, read and recharge.
Your mind and body will thank you for it later.
Unfortunately networking is one of the things in business that you cannot avoid even if you are an introvert. But just be mindful of how you feel during the process. Remember networking is more about how you can help people rather than how they can help you!
And lastly, stay true to yourself and build deep connections with people!
Use these tips at your next networking event and tell me how you get on.
How do you feel when networking? Is it something you avoid or do you love it?