8 Simple Tips For Effective Networking For Introverts
I’ve recently started posting videos more regularly than before. And it has been great.
A great thing happened this week – my YouTube channel hit 100 subscribers and I could claim my own custom url for my channel. This has motivated me to create more regular content for the channel.
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I am running a series on effective networking tips on Linkedin and YouTube. The latest video is about networking tips for introverts.
Working through a room of strangers can be daunting for anyone. If you are an introvert, it can be even more challenging. Here are a few tips for you to crack the socialising code:
1. Use ice breaking questions: You don’t need to jump right into shop talk. Use some conversation starters like:
– Is this your first time? If not, how does this generally go? People love helping others
– Where do you come from? Was the traffic bad?
– The coffee isn’t very good. Are you a coffee lover?
– If someone is from a different city – Oh! I’ve been there. Is it as humid/cold as it used to be?
– The turn out is better than I expected. What do you think?
Gradually work your way to shop talk to know what someone does and offer your own details. This way you would have learnt not just about someone’s work but also who they are as people too.
2. Use an elevator pitch: Have your elevator pitch ready so that you are not tongue tied. Practice it but make sure that you don’t sound mechanical. Make it interesting so that that can become the conversation topic.
3. Take a friend along: For initial support, consider going with some one you know. This way you won’t be standing alone in a corner. You can use a companion to boost your confidence. But remember that you’ll need to get out of your comfort zone away from the friend and forge your own connections.
4. Be an active listener: You don’t have to talk all the time. Listen actively is an equally important part of communication. Dale Carnegie shares a story in his chapter on listening in his path breaking book How To Win Friends and Influence People.
He went to a social event where he got talking to a woman who was excited to share stories about her travel. Carnegie listened to her attentively and asked questions where necessary. And at the end of the interaction, she said that this was the best conversation of her life – although she spoke all the time.
5. Sit next to strangers: You can start a conversation in a more informal manner with your neighbours. You might click better this way than in a group.
6. Look at name tags: This could be a great ice breaker. so that you can easily address people by their names for faster rapport building
7. Follow up after the event: This is a great way to build a relationship one to one without the social pressure of an event. Be sure to use discretion about the mode of follow up.
Some people prefer only Whatsapp while others are more email people. Email them once and wait for them to respond. A reminder isn’t a bad idea. But don’t be pushy beyond a point.
8. Attend as many events as you can: This will make you feel confident about going and meeting people.
Networking is an important part of brand building today. And many successful businessmen are introverts. That did not stop them from going out there and getting clients for themselves.