Do you know someone who can go to networking events by themselves and have no problem whatsoever walking into a room full of people they don’t know and just start striking up conversations and before long they are attracting clients, connecting other people together, and setting up follow up meetings?
You may even see them at different networking events and they seem so confident and good at talking to people.
They’re comfortable in their own skin and it shows.
Let me ask you,
- Can you confidently talk about what you do and keep people genuinely interested?
- Do you feel comfortable talking to people you barely know or don’t know at all?
- Do you get the results that you hope for from the networking activities you engage in?
- Do you cringe at the thought of networking?
- Do you resist the idea of networking as a means to promote yourself and your business?
If so, GREAT! You are steps ahead of a lot of people who are still trying to get comfortable with the whole networking thing, let alone be good at it.
If not, you’re not alone.
Let me tell you something about myself: I’m good at networking.
I frequently go to networking events, even in other states, where I don’t know anyone and I actually talk to lots of people and make great connections.
I’m also clear and confident in what I say and others “get it” and they respond.
I attract clients, referral partners, and I make connections for others that can potentially help them gain a client or a trusted resource.
In fact, when I’m networking a lot, more than 75% of my revenue has come from my networking efforts.
Why am I telling you this?
It’s not to boast because it hasn’t always been this way. I’m telling you this so that you can be inspired.
A lot of people, even my clients, say that it’s this way for me because I’m an extrovert and extroverts are naturally good at networking.
WRONG! On two accounts.
- Just because extraverts are naturally outgoing and talkative they’re not necessarily better at networking and statistics prove that to be true
- I’m an introvert!
People don’t believe me when I share that but it’s absolutely true.
I had to learn to be good at networking and if you struggle with networking you can learn it too.
Here’s four easy things that you can do to calm the networking jitters and start to feel comfortable about getting out there and networking.
- Go networking with a networking buddy and have them edify you and you do the same for them
- Ask something other than “what do you do?” as your conversation starter (I always ask “what’s new and exciting?”)
- Learn to be a connector for others and ask who they would like to meet and try to make that happen for them, when you connect others they’ll remember you for it.
- When you hit it off with someone, schedule a follow up coffee date of phone call before you leave the event.
Networking is about relationship building and these four strategies will help you get into the habit of connecting with others instead of having a sales agenda.
You’ll feel more authentic, relaxed, and confident when you take the pressure off of “selling” to just getting to know some people.
Before you know it, you’ll get the reaction I get “No way you’re not an introvert!”
Extra love to my fellow introverts out there!