If you have been in business for any amount of time, you go to networking
events. Did your body just seize up? Was there a swelling of nervousness in your gut? Are you about ready to stop reading? I encourage you to stay with me about networking. Let me ask: what's the difference between someone who asks you at a picnic or at church, "Who do you know who ??" versus the reality that this is the same question being asked by everyone at a formal networking event? The difference is likely that phrase "networking event!"
Estimates are that we each know about 200 to 250 people. In this group of
people, this sphere or circle of influence, business happens informally and formally,
passively and actively and with success and without. Since I am an introvert, my take
on networking comes from a want to make the most of the event in the shortest
amount of time. My energy drains too fast in too much of a great event! Here are a
few pointers to put extroverted behaviors for the most introverted of us with high
1. Go to a networking event with an intention.
What usually works is to set an intention to meet just three new people. Or, an
intention to get business cards from three new people. Something immediate and
small is usually doable for any of us.
2. Carry business cards everywhere
My business cards are with me everywhere. I always have one box of business
cards in my car, a few business cards in a jacket pocket and always in my business
portfolio. In the rare situation that I might not have one, then I ask the person I
meet for theirs. No one has ever refused to give me his or her card because I did not
3. Communicate eyeball to eyeball.
As I wrote that I wondered, "Who sustains eye contact better, introverts or
extroverts? Maybe there is research on that. For me, eye contact is easy. I feel better
when I focus on the person I am talking with and not seeing all the hustle around
us. For a fact, we know that in general, most people have more positive feelings
from eye contact than lack of it.
4. Use people's name: you'll both be uplifted.
make you feel important when someone remembers your name? You don't need a
memory course to do this better. The easier you make it the better, particularly for
an introvert. One, two, three: One, use a person's name immediately when you meet
them: "It's great to meet you Cindy Tracy. Two, then use their name in your
conversation when you ask a question: "How long have you been coming to these
events Cindy?" And, easy three, if someone else approaches the group you're in,
introduce the person you just met by their name.
5. Stand out from the crowd with follow-up.
Even the shyest of us can easily reap results in this part of the process! Write a
short, simple thank-you note within about a week to those three new people you
meet. Thank them for talking with you and helping you learn about what they do in
business. Include your business card. I am amazed how few people continue to
make this part of their networking system.
6. Propel yourself forward with giving.Let's just say that
everyone at this event is seeking a recommendation for something. Your best bet is
to discover what they are seeking. It could be anything ? a good movie to watch, a
restaurant recommendation, where they can get a previously released music cd ?
anything for any aspect of life. When you follow-up, ask about what they thought
about your recommendation. With your focus on how to help someone fill the
smallest need first, you're still moving forward in your networking.
Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, networking can be more
comfortable and confident when you come from the place of knowing that everyone
is seeking a recommendation at some time. The "networking event" just puts formal
dress on web weaving - connecting people with whoever or where ever will get them
what they want.
Pat Weber is a coach, certified telelcass leader, and corporate trainer. In her
business coaching, she works with small business owners, independent
professionals and salespeople to help them get more of what they want sooner than
Visit her website at http://www.prostrategies.com. Sign up for her free