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7 Easy Networking Tips for Shy People

7 easy networking tips for shy peopleNetworking is a time consuming activity which involves establishing new and long-term relationships. It involves meeting people who you are looking to interact with that may potentially be interested in what you have to offer, or they may have something of benefit to offer you.  By doing this, not only do you get yourself out there to the community, gain awareness on what product or service you offer most importantly, you have the opportunity to build connections with other professionals.

The problem, most people are shy or don’t know where to start.

Being shy is a normal human phenomenon characterized by awkward feelings like fear of what other people will say or are saying about you. Such feelings can really make it hard for you to network. Here are some tips you can use to conquer shyness.

1.  Start networking with people that you know. 

For instance friends, relatives, co-workers. It doesn’t have to be business orientated. Simply begin attending gatherings and practice initiating conversations with others.

2.  Attend networking events that relate to your interests.

There are lots of events in your community that happen weekly. Get involved in events offered by your local Chamber of Commerce. Simply Google “What’s happening in (town name)” and you’ll find lots of things that will come up.

3.  Practice being an emphatic listener.

Once you start a conversation with someone it’s important to remember to not verbal vomit on them. Keep it simple and DO NOT go right into a sales pitch. This will send them running away very quickly. Let them know what you offer and let them do the talking. If they are interested in learning more, you share just enough to spark their interest. The key is to retain there information and permission to contact them at a later date with details. The sales come in the follow up call.

4.  Be inquisitive.

Asking questions is where the magic is. If you just give, give, and give detailed information on what your offering is then you’ve become a commercial. People don’t go to networking events to be sold to. They go to make connections. Ask them about their families, their hobbies, what they do when they love their jobs. People love to talk about themselves. Make a real connection and leave them with an impression of genuine interest in who they are. Ask them questions that will lead you into what you have to offer. As you are connecting with them, throw in a benefit or two of what you do and why you’re doing it. Be relatable.

5.  Be confident. 

The last thing you want to do is leave an event thinking that was a waste of time. If you walk into a room with a sense of confidence, you’ll have people coming up to you! Stand tall, shake their hand, face them, have a positive attitude. People are attracted to a confident person and will be looking to connect with you.

6.  Avoid being dull. Smile a lot when networking.

A smile represents happiness, fun, and less stress; it also prompts those feelings in others when we do it. In addition to feeling better, we are more attractive to others when we smile. Humans are attracted to others that smile for two reasons. First, we want to be around people who are happy and attractive. Second, we want to be happy and attractive ourselves. The best way to feel better and look better is to be around others who exhibit those qualities. Smiles are contagious and desirable. People who smile are much more approachable than those who don’t.

7.  Be yourself. Tackle what you can.

You are you. Be that. If someone starts talking about something you aren’t interested in or know nothing about, feel free to duck out of the conversation and find someone else to chat with. If you’re not a straight-laced corporate type, don’t act like it. Be careful to be more professional than you would be with friends but loosen up the tie a little and enjoy some real conversation.

Where do you get to network?

Networking events are so many and your reason for meeting new people will guide you in deciding which event to attend to. Some of the networking events include:

Breakfast events

Roundtable events

Happy hour events

Linked in events and

Industry based events

The following tactics may help you to network.

  • Have a plan of what you want before attending any networking event.
  • Find out who will be in a particular event and have a list of questions you would want answered
  • Have a time limit. Decide to spend only an hour to network and create a quality conversation other than spending a whole day and gain nothing.
  • Make it a habit. Practice as much as you can. The more new people you meet, the more networking becomes easy to you.
  • Ask for an introduction. For instance, if its in a staff meeting, you can ask your senior colleague to introduce you to the manager. This will be easy for you to start a conversation.

Life is full of frustrations. Once in a while you a might feel so down and you cannot help it. Through networking you get to meet people who offer you guidance and counselling. Exchanging contacts with them establishes your relationship with them and you can always call and talk to them anytime you feel like you are lost. The other party might also need your advice in different things.

To sum up, networking is so easy if you consider the above mentioned tips. It can be a cornerstone that can change your entire life. Do not just network but make it a habit of following up. Contact the new people that you meet to strengthen your relationship with them. Time is now. Choose the right event that meets your needs and start networking.

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