Even the most outgoing of humans can feel the fear when coming face to face with other business owners at events. So it’s no wonder that the introverts out there, like myself, have an extra hard time. Having to talk professionally with other business owners can be intimidating and it’s common for limiting beliefs to come up. Beliefs and fears like…
- ‘They will all be more experienced and smarter than me’
- ‘I will say something stupid’
- ‘They will judge me by what I’m wearing’
- ‘What if I have to stand up and say something in front of everyone?’
I don’t know about you, but that last one always gets me. What if we all have to stand or sit in a circle and introduce ourselves and what we do?! The worst!!!
This post was written to help you navigate all of these fears and more, and to teach you how you can show up in the best way possible. In a way that leaves you with a fuller network of brilliant people, potential leads, clients, and fulfilling experiences.
These are all tips I have received from people in my network and that I have put to the test successfully.
Networking tip #4:
Have Some Solid One-liners
Have a few phrases that you can say with confidence at any given time. These are not complicated phrases. For example, ‘Hi, I’m Hannah, pleasure to meet you’. Every time you speak to someone new, or get introduced to someone new. Have a sentence you can rely on to say completely naturally so you can remove any fears you have of about being awkward.
Every time someone compliments you, you could say ‘Thank you, that’s very kind of you’…I always say ‘Thank you, I appreciate it’ and follow up with a counter compliment.
Every time a break occurs, you could strike up a conversation by asking people about the event ‘What was your biggest takeaway from that last session?’
If you want to ask something more interesting to strike up a connection, you could try something like ‘what the best thing that happened to you this week?’.
Remember, that asking people what they do for work right away is often a turn-off, get to know people, keep your no agenda intention in mind!
Follow up. The Event Doesn’t End When the Event Ends.
It would be pretty pointless for you to go to an event, wow so many people, have amazing conversations and then for that all just be locked in your memory right? Within 1-2 days follow up via email, subject line ‘John, it was so nice meeting you!’ or ‘Janet, I loved talking about Italy with you’. Something personal pertaining the conversation you had works a treat.
From here, you can begin to build a relationship with them that is meaningful, be sure to be friendly, but don’t forget to let people know what you do, how you can help, and offer support if it’s appropriate. Solidifying relationships with people you’ve met at events is beneficial in many ways, it not only elevates your status in your industry as you get better known, it gives you access to a potential new client, or referral pool. People need to know you to trust you!
So go ahead and join a networking event in your area, check meetup.com or join a industry specific conference or event with confidence, EVEN if you’re a quiet type 🙂