Hey hey friend! Today I want to share with you some of the best networking practices for ambiverted entrepreneurs.
By definition, according to Introvertdear.com, an ambivert is someone who falls in the middle of the introvert/extrovert continuum. Ambiverts have a blend of traits from both introverts and extroverts, as well as their own unique strengths.
They wrote a really good article, “What is an Ambivert?“ over on their site, you should check it out if you think you fall somewhere on this spectrum.
For me, this is especially true.
Most people that meet me publicly find it hard to believe, but I prefer my alone time and absolutely hate being in networking environments that I’m not in control of.
Most see my outgoing and bubbly personality and think I don’t know a stranger, but that’s actually quite the opposite.
If I could have it my way I would never leave the comfort of my living room to network, I’d meet everyone online and just have one big happy social media presence and be completely fine.
BUUUUUUTTT, unfortunately, the business world doesn’t work like that, you gotta get out, and you gotta meet folks in perosn, but for those that cringe at high energy and overstimulating environments it can be hard, even if you’re in the room bouncing around, smiling and laughing with anyone that will pay you some attention.
So because I know my personality is one that will adapt to the environment when I have to but crash and burn very quickly, AND I also know that I can’t hide behind the computer and that I’ve got to get out and expand my network to reach my full potential, I’ve been very intentional in creating networking practices internally for myself, that help me serve the needs of the environment that I’m in but also serve my need to recharge and regroup in the calm and seclusive environments.
And today I’m going to share some of the practices that have helped me make the most of my environments but allow me to slip away and recharge and regroup when I need it most.
Best Networking Practices for Ambivert Entrepreneurs
1st, I make a list of the people that I want to meet at the events beforehand and make my introductions before I arrive.
I don’t know about you but I absolutely hate being the person that has to walk up and introduce themselves to someone that you absolutely want and probably need to know but haven’t the slightest idea what to say, lol. So to combat that I generally will reach out to the folks that I want to know in advance and make an introduction, letting them know that we’ll both be present and that I would love to connect with them before we leave the event, and tell them why.
What I’ve found by doing this, is the introduction in person is much more exciting because it’s now like Hey girl hey! It’s so good to meet you in person, versus the “Oh hey girl, nice to meet you, who the heck are you and what do you want?”
You know the vibe and you know I’m telling the truth, just like it’s weird for you it’s probably weird for them too, so this usually makes it a heck of a lot easier to spark conversation and get the party started.
2nd, in addition to knowing who’s coming and introducing myself, I identify one thing that I’d like to discuss with them while I’m there just so it’s not awkward silence after you’ve finally gotten the opportunity to meet.
By doing this I’ve found that it does a couple of things –
- it helps bring life to the conversation, it makes the other person talk about themselves, and we all know how people like to talk about. themselves. If you’re honest, you’d tell the truth and be real and laugh when you think about how long you go on and on when someone asks you about your business, kids, so on and so forth. Tell the truth friend!!!
- it makes the other person feel like the connection is genuine and that you’re actually interested in them as a person
- it usually helps them to bring their guard down and that organic conversation is much more easy to spark because you’ve made them comfortable with you long before you’ve gotten to the event.
3rd, I usually will keep the conversations really short and let them know that I’ve got a couple of more people to connect with
This is like the key to creating long-lasting relationships right here. Ok so here’s the gag, even though you want to meet these people you DO NOT want to meet them for long at the event.
Follow me here…
My goal is to always start conversations, create intrigue and get permission to continue the conversation and relationship beyond the event.
By doing this I maintain my perception of being busy, but I also don’t come across as desperate or like I want something, because the reality is, even though I’d love to have the relationship with the person, I’m neither desperate or in search of anything so it’s completely cool, to cut the conversation short and get permission to follow up via maybe email or a lunch date or something in the near future.
If you do this correctly, the person that you’re looking to connect with will appreciate you not being the creeper that is taking up all their time and will feel good about connecting later because they don’t feel like you want to “pick their brain” or much worse you want something from them.
Now after the event, you can shoot a quick email to say how nice it was to meet and see if they’d be available over the next few weeks or so to connect in person because you’d love to know HOW YOU CAN HELP THEM.
Now here’s the key. Your goal has to be to create real, lasting valuable relationships not to sell your services. You’ve got to lead with a servant’s heart here.
Networking is never about selling your services or your products as much as it is about creating awareness for you as a business professional and inserting yourself with purpose in your business community.
If your main objective is to sell your services you’ll lose every single time, people can smell that a mile away and it smells like cow manure!!!
The key to this is genuinely wanting to form valuable relationships.
If that’s not your goal friend and you want to use networking events to sell right on the spot or get something out of people, then I don’t know what to tell you, friend.
May you should just stay at home and run an ad or something.
I don’t know but these events definitely aren’t for you my friend.
Ok lastly, now that I’ve made the connection with the person that I wanted to meet, I make it my point to follow up almost immediately.
Not creepy immediately, but within a day.
THIS IS NOT PUSHY, I REPEAT THIS IS NOT PUSHY!
People have short term memories friend, and you can put money on the fact that they will probably NOT remember much about what you talked about when you met, but they will remember how you made them feel and you want to use that feeling as the fuel to get the next meeting.
Now here’s the deal with feelings, they fade with time if you don’t nurture them so you can’t put a lot of time between these meetings because you’ll be the reason why the fire fades and you’ll have a harder time getting your second meeting.
So within a day, I’m shooting an email to say thanks for the conversation and letting them know I enjoyed the brief conversation that we had. I remind them briefly of what we discussed and let them know I hate we couldn’t chat more and would love to continue what we were discussing over lunch or something.
Ask them to let you know when they can meet and it will excite them. If you can give a couple of days for them to choose from.
Say something to the effect of, “I don’t know what your time looks like, but I’ve got a little bit happening over the next few weeks but I might be able to sneak away on this date or that date, do any of those dates work for you? If not let me know what you’ve got and I can try to make my calendar align with yours.”
They will appreciate you for it I promise, and it will make it easy to set a date for lunch in a way less stimulating environment where you can be your high performing self, have meaningful conversations and build a better connection than what you would by just starting that conversation cold at the networking event.
Once I’ve gotten over the hurdle of being in high energy environments and having to navigate my way around a room with people I don’t know but need to talk to, I can pretty much excel in the rest.
I do best in environments that are close and personal but those environments are hard to foster in an online world where people don’t really understand the value of building real relationships and where people are guarded because everybody is out to get something.
I know it’s difficult at times to get out of your comfort zone and turn the personality on without feeling completely drained quick, but if you can put a system behind your networking I promise you’ll start to look forward to attending the events, and find joy in connecting with the people that are in the room.
Now one might ask, what if you can’t get access to the people that are going to be there in advance, to that I say take you a friend for comfort so if it gets to tight on you emotionally to connect with new people, you’ve got someone there to make you feel comfortable and ease the uncomfortableness for you and hopefully help you to connect.
This is a shortlist of the things that have been working for me recently, but I feel strongly that if you just start here you’ll feel more in control in these over-stimulating environments that require you to almost feel like you’re performing and be able to connect and start valuable relationships with the people that you desire to know.
So, how do you feel?
Are there any special practices that you have when it comes to managing your energy and making the best out of your networking environments?
If so I’d love to hear about them, shoot me a dm on INSTAGRAM I’d love to know what you think!
As always friend, if you found this article helpful, feel free to share it with your peeps, I’m leaving you an IG stories and Pin Worthy image below for you to share at your leisure. If you share it on Instagram, be sure to tag me so I can shout you out in my stories!!!