Networking is essential in business. Unfortunately, it often does not come naturally to shy people, who may shiver at the thought of having to talk to someone they don’t know. Thankfully, you do not have to change your whole personality to build strong relationships in your industry. All you need to do is learn how to network if you are an introverted individual.
Introverts have a bad habit of apologizing when asking for help, as they believe their request is an imposition. Yet, you should view it as a strategy for building a stronger relationship with an industry connection. Apologizing will make you appear like a rookie in front of a professional, so stop saying sorry, and ask in a confident manner instead. Many people are often willing to help, and there’s nothing wrong in asking for direction. If anything, the recipient will feel flattered.
Always Carry Business Cards
Business cards can be a shy person’s best friend. It’s essential to not let any potential contacts go to waste. If you make a successful connection with an industry associate or prospective investor at an event, ensure you hand him or her a business card, which will signal for them to get in touch. As a result, they might also hand their business card to you, which will allow you to make a solid connection in a small amount of time. However, you must ensure you hand a professional, high-quality card that reflects your business and brand. Create a design today by using a business card designer.
Use a Person’s Name When Networking
Prove to a potential connection that you are listening by using their name in conversation. It will immediately put them at ease, as they will feel more comfortable talking to you. It will demonstrate that you pay attention and view them as more than just another number to add into a network database. It will also help you to remember the person’s name once the conversation is over, so you can easily follow up with them over email to carry on your discussion.
Carefully Listen to Others
Shyness can be a strength when networking. Many extroverts often go quiet when pretending to listen to others, and are simply waiting for another opportunity to talk. Being an introvert will make it easier to listen, which will provide you with the opportunity to engage with others, rather than accidentally talk over them. If someone feels as if you’re properly listening to them, then they will value you and your nature. However, make sure you don’t over compensate; you also need to find the right balance and engage with your own inputs from time to time.
Perfectly Time Your Entry into a Conversation
Never bulldoze your way into an ongoing discussion. Not only is it rude, but it will kill a conversation, and you will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Instead, ease your way into a dialog by listening carefully until you have a good understanding of the conversation. When a member of the group asks a question, you can then take the opportunity to provide an interesting answer that will help you to naturally join a discussion. So, silence could be your biggest strength when attempting to network with others.