Business networking is not something that the typical introvert looks forward to. It’s a taxing process. Getting around a large group of people takes time and energy that many introverts do not want to give up. However, in order to have a successful business networking is a must. Here are five tips to assist you with networking in person.
1. Be Yourself. It sounds so simplistic doesn’t it?
2. Keep the focus on the person you are talking to. Many times we shy away from talking about ourselves due to fear. However as you become more comfortable in networking situations, you will get more and more comfortable talking about yourself and your business. Until you get to that point, make the person you are talking to the focus of the conversation. When they are the focus, you can take the time to mentally evaluate how you can help them best. Can you best help them by providing a service to them? Or are they best helped by referring them to someone else? Do you know someone who can use the product or service that they offer? If so, be sure to give them the names of the people you have in mind.
3. If you need to excuse yourself, do so. There are times that you may need to compose yourself and walking away is the best solution. Recently at an event I was engaged in conversation with a very intense and loud business woman. She was a great person with great ideas but she literally made me tired with her intensity, so I simply excused myself. I went to the restroom to “powder my nose” so I could regroup. When I went back to the group she was engaged with another group which gave me the opportunity to talk to others.
4. Take time for yourself before the event. If you need quiet time to compose yourself before the event, take it. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
5. Take time for yourself after the event. In my coaching business, one of my client’s says that she likes to treat herself to dinner after the networking event. She requests a small table in the corner and takes out the business cards she received and makes notes. After that is complete she will write out thank you cards to each person from whom she has a business card. This process is her way of relaxing after a taxing networking session.
What do you do before and after networking sessions as part of your self care program?