4 B.S. Networking Tips for Introverts
Do you go to networking events?
And are you an introvert?
If you are, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed. How will you manage in a large, crowded space?
Good news! It doesn’t have to be scary or impossible to navigate.
To those who say otherwise, I say “B.S.!”
No. Not THAT B.S.
Here are my 4 “B.S.” networking strategies for #introverts.
Number one, the ability to be still, the ability to center, meditate, whatever you need before you walk in to feel comfortable internally. Don't just walk in and get overwhelmed. Try to be fully comfortable with yourself, who you are, what you bring to the table, and then enter the space in which you are. Excuse me, in which you are engaging.
Number two, be strategic. You can't be everywhere. This is good advice I think for everybody, but really for introverts, if you know people that will be there, reach out to them in advance. Make a connection.
“I'd like to see you there.”
“What's your number?”
“Where can I find you?”
“Let's find a quiet place to be.”
And of course, do you think about where you can find a little nook somewhere where you could be a little bit, maybe away from the noise and away from all the activity or you could be having useful, purposeful and meaningful conversation. And there may be specific areas within the venue, certain talks, certain divisions by industry.
Whatever it is, be strategic in where you want to be and the kind of people specifically that you want to be meeting that will add value you to them and them to you.
Number three is be seen. So even though you want to be off to the side because that's your introverted style, but people should still see you be present in the room at different times. Definitely be somebody that people can at least make a connection to and say, “Yeah, I saw him or her. They were there. Let's follow up afterwards.”
Which is really where all the magic happens anyway.
But it's hard to do that if you say I was there but I didn't see you.
People are going to view it differently than if they actually saw you there and feel connected to you because you are visible.
And the last one, and that is be sticky. And of course I don't mean that in the hygienic sense of the term. We want to be fresh. We want to really look good and feel good when we walk in.
Sticky means to be memorable.
We want to be somebody who, people will look at it and say, “Oh yeah, he was there, she was there,” but not only were they there, they made an impression.
It could be something you wear.
It could be something you say.
Maybe you have a special handshake
A special way of speaking.
Try to create some stickiness so that when you choose to follow up, assuming that you do, you have something to really connect to and people can make that connection and they want to follow up because you are somebody who they feel good about connecting with, that you added value and had a nice time with. So introvert or extrovert, remember these strategies and make the, it's really the opportunity for you to make it what it is. So I encourage you to get out there, do your magic. It doesn't matter where you do it or how you do it so long as it serves you and you make the most out of what hope, what promises to be a very powerful, uh, engaging and connecting event.
Which “B.S.” networking strategy resonates most with you? Tell me in the comments!