In order to succeed in your network marketing or sales career, you'll need to spend a lot of time talking and connecting with others. But what if you’re an introvert? Read on for our seven best business tips for introverts looking to build an incredible network.
Find What Works For You
The internet gives us the incredible ability to connect, follow-up, and engage digitally, and this offers the introvert an incredible advantage. While a virtual conversation may never replace a face-to-face interaction or hearing the excitement in someone’s voice on the phone, reaching out via Facebook or another digital channel might be easier for you than placing a cold call. Depending on your prospect, it could be just as effective. Figure out how you feel most comfortable initiating a conversation, and start there whenever you can.
Focus On The Relationship
Introverts often feel overwhelmed by a large group or high-energy event, but may thrive on small group gatherings or a one-on-one discussion. If this is true for you, set the stage for your success invite only your top 3-4 prospects to your business event, rather than your entire prospect list. When you can, schedule sit-downs with one person at a time. There is a potential tradeoff here -- with your emphasis on quality over quantity, your business may not grow as quickly. However, with the focus and extra care you bring to building each relationship, anyone who joins you will start from a place of strong connection, which can yield incredible benefits of teamwork, loyalty, and investment.
Who Are The Soft Strangers?
Ask your friends to introduce you to their friends. Reach out to the members of a community you’re already part of -- a church, a yoga studio, a volunteer group. These people already share a common interest with you, and are more likely to be receptive to your invitation than a random stranger with no ties to you. As you get more confident talking to “soft strangers”, it will become easier to talk to people with a few more degrees of separation.
Work Toward YOUR Goals
No one works the same way. No one has the same vision. Decide what YOUR goals are, and work toward them methodically. Perhaps you want to build an incredible library of video tutorials, finding a confidence behind the camera that you may lack face to face. Just because your partner or friend is hosting huge parties every few weeks to add 100 new customers this year, doesn’t mean that has to be your goal or your method.
Go With A Friend
Our friends at The Muse shared this great advice: if you’ve got a big event coming up, or an opportunity for networking that intimidates you, take a buddy! At the very least, you’ll have someone to sit with, someone to cheer you on, and someone to help tag-team introductions and break that sometimes awkward silence. Talk to your friend beforehand, share your biggest fears, and brainstorm strategies for success.
You’re not actually building your network if you meet someone new, then promptly forget to do anything with the information! Circle back to Tip #1, and use your favorite low-stress method to reconnect with a new contact. Whether it’s a Facebook message, an email, or a text, following up is absolutely essential. You never know - they might be an introvert too, wishing that you’d call to give them an excuse to get over their nerves and meet up already!
Eat Lunch Alone
This recommendation comes from Morra Aarons-Mele, a high-performing coach whose upcoming book, iding In The Bathroom, is described as "a roadmap for ambitious people who struggle with introversion, anxiety, or just crave a little more control over their work lives.”
Aarons-Mele knows that it’s important to invest in yourself before you can connect with others. Don’t give into the pressure of thinking that every second of your free time needs to be focused on networking. Give yourself an hour for lunch, thirty minutes for coffee, one afternoon a week for a trip to the library or museum. This time is critical to recharge your batteries and give you the chance to reconnect with your Why
What are your best techniques for building your network while honoring your introverted tendency? Share your business tips for introverts with your fellow #TRAKstars!