Introverts – you can be a successful networker
Just use your strengths
Are you an introvert? Does the idea of networking terrify you – mixing with a load of strangers you don’t know and making small talk?
Well … I have good news for you and for your fellow introverts.
OK – the thought of networking can be daunting. But – as a marketing strategy, it can be a great way to grow your business. As an introvert, you can outdo any extrovert! How? By playing to your strengths.
So, what are these introvert strengths of yours?
There’s insight, empathy, listening skills, analysis, and follow-through – all qualities that you almost certainly possess in spades. These skills are highly valuable when it comes to building relationships with clients and customers.
7 tips for introvert networkers
Here are seven ways for introverts to enjoy networking success –
- Be selective about where and when to network. You don’t have to attend every networking event. Instead, be strategic and choose events that are likely to attract your target market. By being selective, you can ensure that you are making the most of your time and resources.
- Set goals for events. Before attending a networking event, set a goal for what you want to achieve. For example, your goal might be to meet three new people who could benefit from your services. This takes the pressure off and makes the event less about you and more about what you can do to help others.
- Follow up with prospects. The key to successful networking is in the follow-up. After the event, be sure to follow up with any prospects you met and fulfil any promises you made. Make sure to connect on LinkedIn with everyone you meet. Make your connection request read something like this –
“Hello <name>. Good to meet you today. I hope you enjoyed the meeting. Shall we connect? Why don’t you tell me about the kind of connections you like to make? If I can help with this or in any other way, I’ll be delighted. Best wishes – <your name> 🙂.”
- Invest time in existing network relationships. You don’t have to just focus on getting new connections. Take the trouble to nurture the relationships you already have. This could mean sending a thank-you note or checking in with a past client to see how they’re doing. Set aside time for one catch-up (Zoom or a cup-of-coffee) per week.
- Cultivate peer teams. Working with complementary colleagues can be an effective way to collaborate and market your services together. For example, if you’re a writer, you could team up with a designer to offer a complete package to clients. By working together, you can expand your network and provide more value to clients.
- Seek out networking groups that have a structure. These can prove easier for introverts to participate and contribute.
- Focus on quality over quantity. Rather than using the scattergun approach – trying to meet as many people as possible – concentrate on making meaningful connections with a few key prospects. By taking the time to listen and understand their needs, introverts can build trust and establish a solid foundation for a long-term business relationship.
Take the softly-softly approach to networking
In summary, networking is a slow game. The softly-softly approach always works best. When networking, show an interest in others. Find out how you can help them by connecting them with their ideal client. You’ll soon become known as a ‘nice’ person. Then, in time, as people get to know you and your skills, you’ll become known as a ‘nice’ person who’s also an authority in their field. Then … the referrals will start to come through.
By playing to your strengths and being strategic in your approach to networking, you and your fellow introverts will soon get to grow your businesses, and before long, you’ll be the envy of all those pesky extroverts!