Networking can be intimidating, especially if you’re an introvert like me. Whether you love meeting new people or not, if you don’t prepare it can drain your energy and leave you lacklustre. But if you make it through the doors of that networking event, you have achieved, whether you feel like it or not.
Last week I shared my top five tips on networking for introverts. They are only a few of the techniques I’ve picked up over the past few months that have helped me continue to get out there. The blog topic proved popular, so I’ve decided to give you a part two!
In case you didn’t catch it, here’s part one of networking for introverts. And so, back by popular demand, here are five more of my top tips:
Networking for introverts
6. Use coffee as an excuse
Everyone needs tea or coffee and it’s a great excuse to start a conversation. ‘Did you want one too?’ ‘I see you’re a herbal tea person’ ‘There’s a good array or pastries here’. Banal, everyday sentences I know but they always work for me as an ice breaker. It doesn’t matter what your first words are to someone, break open that dialogue.
7. Ask for an introduction
If there’s someone you want to meet but you’re too shy to approach them, ask someone else to introduce you. Most networking events have a host or a team of people who are they to help you make connections. There’s no harm in asking – that’s what they’re there for!
Too nervous to speak? Then just listen. And be an active listener. Don’t start thinking of the next question to ask or something interesting you can say. Get to know the person you’re speaking to, why they’re there, what motivates them, what their ambitions are. Remember details that can be a great second ice breaker after the event.
9. Give yourself time to recover
Networking is exhausting and you deserve some time off! In part one I gave you the tip to prepare and rest up the night before. We’ll, now I’m advising you to give yourself recovery time. Behave as though you’ve been to a big wedding or festival and give yourself time to off after the event. Put your feet up, make a cup of tea and let your brain switch off for a while.
10. Say hello again from your business
Follow up two times after the event and be sure to make those connections. Remember who you spoke to and what you spoke about and ask people how their business is going. I’ve made a lot of connections after the event, even though we only had a passing conversation at first. Make sure you say hello from your social media business accounts. You can remind them of the services you offer without out-right selling yourself.
No matter how shy you consider yourself to be, there’s always something to gain from networking. A vital part of running your own business is having a steady flow or new colleagues and contacts. So whether you connect with people during or after the event, get networking!
How do you get through networking events? Let me know your survival tips in the comments below.
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