Shy in Networking? Here Are 4 Tips that Will Work for You



Good news if crowds make you nervous: The advantage in networking goes to introverts instead of extroverts.

“What? you ask. “Introverts have an advantage in networking at social events?”

That’s right. As an introvert, you have advantages in networking and also advantages in becoming a leader. Yes, that’s true.

Extroverts aren’t necessarily great in networking or qualified to be leaders. They’re not naturals in the art of persuasion, charisma, have boldness or in getting projects done successfully.

Introverted people are more likely to listen. Listening is an important quality for networking and leadership.

Moreover, extroverts are more likely to feel threatened if their ideas aren’t readily acted upon. They especially act with fear when questioned or challenged by others.

Conversely, this also means introverts can unobtrusively dominate at networking and other events.

Here’s how you can make shyness work for you:

Envision success by listening

During the 1970s and 1980s in my career as a young broadcast journalist, I learned valuable lessons about listening, negotiations and leadership when meeting two presidents – Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.

While I was very nervous, they made me feel important in the meetings. They were fantastic listeners. Ditto, when I interviewed Nancy Reagan.

Then, there was a comment by another great leader in American history: “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care,” said Theodore Roosevelt.

Of course, he was an American statesman, writer and the 26th U.S president from 1901 to 1909, 25th vice president, and governor of New York.

President Roosevelt knew success results from empathy and focusing on others.

So try to always ask open-ended questions, not closed-ended questions. By asking open-ended questions, you’ll get people to talk freely. (More on this later in this article.)

Many extroverts miss the point of networking. Networking should be all about starting and building relationships by listening well.

Take baby steps seeking quality contacts

It can be very entertaining to watch many extroverts and narcissists working at social event.

They’re so busy working the whole room and grabbing business cards, they’re not as successful in launching valuable relationships.

The trick is to be affable and likeable.

Quality prospects are not impressed by a narcissistic approach by someone running around willy-nilly collecting business cards without regard to the feelings of others in attendance.

Introverts, on the other hand, take the time to learn important information from a few people. This means they can make the most in chatting with the people they do meet, especially with other introverts.

Do this, and you’ll have a better shot at developing relationships.

Ask the most-advantageous questions

Extroverts get off on the wrong foot by talking about what they care about, which means they’re less likely to pique the interests of others.

So be a leader. Briefly reveal something about yourself so the persons will feel comfortable in answering questions. (People appreciate what psychologists have called “free information.”)

Then, don’t ask mundane questions such as “What do you do?”.

Ask questions that will prompt people to reveal important details, such as “What projects are you excited to be working on?” or “What interests you the most these days?”.

Read between the lines

Strive to be intuitive.

In conversing with a stranger, you also need to grasp what the persons aren’t saying. In effect, listen to what people aren’t telling you.

Success in sales is all-about creating opportunities for growth by finding needs to fill.

Once you entice people to talk about their interests or even their passions, you can anticipate their challenges and determine needs you’re able fill.

From the Coach’s Corner, additional helpful information:

Football Lessons for Business Networking, Partnering — Nine key steps for companies to become stronger by teaming with others. By combining resources, companies succeed in meeting the needs of customers.

Sales, Networking Strategies to Build Strong Relationships — Knowledge has always been essential for success. But the ability to sustain strong relationships was and is both gratifying and important for success. Here are tips for strong sales and relationships.

Listening Skills to Improve Your Relationships and Business Performance — What counts in communication? Listening skills for discernment and trust. Discerning people are the most successful and listening skills are important for discernment. That goes for athletes and management, alike.

Earn Profits via Innovation, Relationships and Local Marketing — If your company is struggling as a result of declining profits, at least three factors are responsible: The clutter of competition, management, and ever-expanding and head-scratching list of advertising options.

Tactics to be Memorable but Respected in Sales Calls — In this frenetic marketplace, creating a lasting impression on your prospects and clients – so they become loyal as repeat buyers – your approach should include seven tactics.

Sales Secrets for Getting by Receptionists, Gatekeepers — Getting past receptionists and other gatekeepers is a universal sales challenge. Successful salespeople, however, have the right insights and approaches for success. Here’s how they do it.

“Networking is rubbish; have friends instead.”

-Steve Winwood

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






Business Etiquette Dos and Don’ts – Sending Holiday Cards



One of the best investments for your business relationships is to send holiday cards. It’s an excellent way to stay in touch and to show gratitude in your business relationships.

It’s practically guaranteed to put a smile on your recipient’s face. Without appearing to be mercenary showing an interest only in profits, a holiday card helps you to maintain top-of-mind awareness simply by showing your appreciation.

But you must do it right. If you have a lot of cards to send, it’s time-consuming but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Treat it as fun. Take the time to show you care.

Here are six etiquette tips:

1. Don’t procrastinate

Show your respect and appreciation to valued business associates. If you wait too long the people might think they’re an after-thought.

So order your cards early. Cards should be mailed the first week of December.

It isn’t always necessary to order cards. You have a couple of options. If you haven’t ordered them early, either buy high-quality cards or plan to send “happy New Year” cards.

2. Don’t scrimp

Don’t choose the easy option. The cards you send should convey your warm feelings for your associates. Email or social media greetings are considered gauche by valued clients.

Your associates will feel more valued if you go to the trouble of addressing and mailing a nice card.

They’re a source holiday joy. More than likely your associates will post your cards in their offices for everyone to see.

3. Do be empathetic

Some business associates will be religious; others aren’t. Remember a holiday card should be all about your recipients.

Be sensitive in your messaging – mail cards that reflect your recipients’ values and philosophies.

For example, some might openly celebrate Christmas or Hanukah. Others will be happy to receive a generic “happy holidays” card.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” 

Dale Carnegie

4. If you order cards do have your name custom-printed, but hand-address the envelope

Many companies order cards with custom-printing to reflect their professionalism. Such cards should still be signed personally by you.

Whether you custom-print your name or not, always hand-address the envelopes. Never use a pre-printed label.

Use a formal title, such as Mr., Miss, Ms., or Dr.

Personally, I understand companies’ motive for custom-printing cards. But as management consultant, I’ve always favored a more personal touch instead of printing my company name.

This approach ensures a more personal touch and stronger relationship.

5. Do use the right type of postage

Don’t use your postal meter. Use a personal touch, and neatly put stamps with a holiday motif on the envelope.

Make sure the stamp mirrors the type of card you send.

6. Do write a personal message on each card

Even with your beautifully printed business name in the card, it’s still important to write a personal message. Give it adequate thought before writing your note.

Personalize it — whether you want to show gratitude for the person’s business or relationship.

If you have new contact information, enclose your business card with a note explaining that your contact information has changed.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more business relationship-etiquette tips:

Tips for Dining Etiquette with Your Boss or Anchor Client — Whatever the important business occasion, it’s helpful to hold your meeting away from the tense hustle and bustle of a corporate setting. The right ambience for deal making is often an opulent restaurant with sumptuous food. That’s been my preference.

Make More Friends at the Office with 6 Etiquette Tips — In many companies, good etiquette is nonexistent and office co-workers fail to make friends of one another. Lack of trust and turmoil is seemingly evident everywhere. You don’t have to like everyone, but it’s best to be respectful, and assertive versus aggressive. That makes for good office relationships.

6 Top Tips for Etiquette in Business Travel — If you’re into people-watching, the airport is an entertaining place to be. You’ll see all kinds of personalities. That’s especially true for the wide variety of business travelers. For successful trips, business travelers share one common trait. They need to be mindful of business etiquette.

18 Tips for Productive Behavior to Win in Office Politics — Most people troubled by office politics are too focused on the behavior of their adversaries. Stop giving away your personal power. Don’t think or act like a victim. Here are 18 valuable tips to win in office politics.

Listening Skills to Improve Your Relationships and Business Performance — What counts in communication? Listening skills for discernment and trust. Discerning people are the most successful and listening skills are important for discernment. That goes for athletes and management, alike.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” 

Dale Carnegie


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.







Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.