As an introverted business owner and as one who coaches others in the same position, there are many times that we need to take a step back and evaluate what we are doing in business. So many times I hear, “I don’t know how I’m going to get clients [or insert your pain here] because I can’t cold call or go to open networking meetings because I’m uncomfortable carrying on conversations with new people.”
If you don’t feel comfortable making a cold call, then don’t. There are many ways to fill your business that will match your personality and style. I am not saying that introverts can’t be great at cold calls, but it doesn’t fit every introverts personality. However, if you truly want to fill your business, you are going to have to network in some capacity.
If networking is uncomfortable for you, let me say that this isn’t uncommon. In fact while researching about intorverts in business, I ran across an awesome article called “HELP! I’m an Introvert!” by none other than Dr. Ivan Misner. Yes, that Dr. Ivan Msner, THEE founder of Business Network International. Talk about a shocker. You know what I find funny about the article? He was an introvert in denial. Because Dr. Misner was a public speaker and the founder of the largest networking association in the world, he firmly believed that he was extroverted. As we talked about numerous times before this is a common myth for many. Public speaking and introversion can go hand in hand. I actually love to speak in public, when I have something to say.
In the article Dr. Misner talks about when he evaluated what his wife was saying he couldn’t help but agree (although it was a process). When at networking events, he liked when people introduced him to others. This is common for many introverts and one of the main reasons why BNI groups are so successful. They consist of small, controlled groups.
If you’re uncomfortable networking at Chamber meetings or in large group settings, especially where there may be “competition”, I highly encourage you to check out BNI. Because of their rules, there is only one person from each industry allowed in each group. The groups are typically smaller, unless you live in a large city and even then, there are many different groups to choose from. Take some time to find a group that you sync with and that fits your personality and business style. You will definitely reap the rewards of your efforts.