Networking is a key component to success in owning a small business. However, if you’re an introvert it can be a daunting prospect. If networking gives you stress or anxiety, there are a few ways you can adjust your practice to make it work for your unique personality.
#1: Start Small
When you’re first starting to network, you may feel like you have to do everything all at once. This is a quick way to overwhelm yourself and sour your perception on the practice of networking. Instead, take small steps. Set a goal to attend one or two meetings a week, and build from there as you become more comfortable.
#2: Talk About What You Love About What You Do
As an introvert, talking about your accomplishments or “tooting your own horn” may seem too far out of your comfort zone. Instead, focus on why you started your business, who you’re helping, and why you love it. Your passion will shine through, and that will help to attract a diverse and engaged network.
#3: Supplement with Technology
While nothing can replace face-to-face interaction, you can take your networking efforts a step further with technology. Social media networking can be a great compliment to an in-person practice. Did you make a connection at a networking meeting? Connect with them on social media as an easy segway to keep the conversation going. Just remember to take it back to the face-to-face interaction (take them to coffee, etc.).
#4: Be a Great Listener
As an introvert, there’s a good chance that you are an excellent listener. Instead of stressing yourself out over carrying on a conversation, focus on learning more about the other person. They will feel like you care, and aren’t just out to get a connection from them. This can actually work to your advantage!
Is there a right way to network? Check out our latest podcast for tips from sales and networking expert Scott Marker!