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As someone who does a lot of networking and indeed someone who is an introvert at heart, but training hard to become an ambivert, I see lots of tips and guides for introverts when it comes to networking and what they should do to manage themselves and their situation. But what I rarely see is any guide for extroverts and how they should manage the networking environment. So here are a 5 tips for extroverts starting to network.
Working the Room
Some extroverts enter the room like Duracell bunnies and make a point of trying to meet as many people at each networking event. They are excited to see so many people in the same room. They make a point of collecting as many business cards as possible and giving out as many business cards as possible. They are hyper and just a little distracted. There is a lack of focus and a lack of intention.
To counter this, take a deep breath, and then another, and then another.
Take a moment to still your mind. Be deliberate in your networking. Focus on building relationships. Have a plan. I include many blogs around strategy, however a good way to start is knowing the four groups of people you need in your network and setting about finding them.
More People Means More Meetings
If you want to meet more people then you need to start going to more meetings. It’s huge mistake to try to meet more people in less meetings. Invert the logic and add more networking meetings to your monthly schedule.
If you are currently doing one per month, try to do two per month and so on. You’ll increase your efforts and keep a better pace on how many people you are meeting, while still allowing yourself time to do your super necessary follow up.
Be Prepared To Give First
If you go with the intent of only expecting people to help you, to pass you referrals, to engage with you for business, you will come away sorely disillusioned.
Networking and attending networking events is about meeting the people that you need to fill your network and help you along your journey at this stage in your professional and personal life. This will evolve and change, which we’ll discuss another time.
Based on the law of reciprocity, those who give are the one’s who will gain. Be ready to add value and see how you can help others. In time, that help will come back to you.
Don’t be a taker. You’ll get found out quite quickly. You’ll also find that more opportunities come your way as people that you help will most likely want to help you in return. But don’t simply help someone with the intent of ensuring that you get something in return. If you are keeping score, you’ll lose out.
Have a plan and a focus to meet and have good, meaningful conversations with two or three people at your next networking event. You’ll meet more people of course, but it’s the focus you put on having in-depth conversations that matters in this context.
Spend several minutes when you’re at a networking meeting or networking event, asking these people what they do, who they would like to meet, and if there’s anything you can do for them.
If you know of people at the event that fit the required profile, you can make some introductions, which will be well received. If you know of people that fit the bill, that aren’t at the event, you can make an email introduction after the event to connect the two parties.
A warm introduction is always valued and most certainly remembered.
Be aware of who you are talking to.
Be conscious of the people around you.
Many of them will be introverts, extremely shy, some used to networking and for others, it’s a new adventure.
Tip: Ask the person about their other networks and to try to get a gauge on their experience. Being aware of this will help you put your fellow networker(s) at ease and make it a better experience all round.
I hope these tips are helpful. If you are an extrovert and have other hacks and tips that make networking easier for you, please do share them with me and we can review them together!
Connect With Me
If you have other ideas and suggestions, I’d love to hear them. You can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do connect in with me on Linkedin and Instagram. (I’m also on Twitter and Pinterest). Let’s keep the #networking conversation going!
You can join my mailing list too and I’d love to have you on board.
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