Hi, Tasha here with Emerge Sales Training. Today I am going to give you some tips for those of you who are shy or awkward on meeting new people. This is titled Introverts at Networking Events, but this could really be for anyone that falls in a few categories, which would be someone who’s introverted, or someone like me who’s extroverted and just awkward at meeting new people. Or just you haven’t been in that environment, or maybe you’re great at meeting people and you’re just trying to up your game.
So before I go into these five tips, I wanna do a little myth busting.
Myth #1: Extroverts are better sales people.
That is not been proven to be true. Our culture has a bias to thinking they’re better salespeople, but actually extreme introverts end up doing better than extreme extroverts. This is because extreme extroverts end up talking too much, and introverts by nature are going to be listening more, which means they are able to increase trust.
It brings me back to one of my favorite quotes by Teddy Roosevelt: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” When you’re meeting new people I think what’s really really important is to start by showing them how much you care about them instead of how much you know. You’ll have your chance if the person is worth having a relationship with. If you never get your chance based on these five tips, then maybe it really wasn’t meant to be anyway from a relationship perspective or a connection perspective.
So let’s go ahead and go through these five tips.
Number 1: Acknowledge the awkward
This is my favorite tip for everything. If you’re ever feeling awkward the best thing to do is just call it out. When I started my business and I went to a networking event here’s what I said because I was awkward: “Hi, I’m new here and kind of shy. Do you mind if I hang out with you for a few minutes?” I’ll go ahead and repeat that. “I’m new here and I’m kinda shy. Do you mind if I hang out with you here for a few minutes?” They will say, “Sure.”
Number 2: Ask a question.
Not just any question; try this one: “Tell me about yourself.” Maybe that’s a statement not just question, but this is broad on purpose. Whatever they tell you is what they care about. And they can tell you about whatever they want to tell you about, which is really, really cool. And they’re going to tell you about things that they’re excited about, or they’re going to tell you about challenges that they’re having. But whatever they tell you about when it’s so broad is going to give you a good clue into what they value, what they care about, what’s important to them and what they’re excited about. And the cool thing is, it’s one, two, three, four four words, you only have to say, “Tell me about yourself.”
Now, they’ll be a little bit surprised when you say this and there might be a little bit of an awkward pause. It’s okay, you’re a shy introvert, or an awkward extrovert like me, and you just wait, count to five and then they’ll start talking. And that’ll be really, really cool. They’re response will tell you what they value.
Number 3: Ask their opinion.
So once you know about what they value, ask their advice about something or their opinion. Here’s an example: Let’s say I say, “Tell me about yourself.” Let’s say someone asked me to talk about myself, and I respond with something like, “Well I run a sales training and leadership coaching company, and I play hockey, and I have a family,” and I just kinda go on and on and on. Then they might ask a follow up question like, “Oh okay, well what do you think is the hardest part of running a business?” Or, “What do you think is the most challenging part about being a parent?” Or, “What do you think is the best advice that you would give someone who wants to be a good athlete?” I would be, and most people are, going to be so flattered by that question.
Now, the trick here is you have to actually mean it. You have to actually care, so don’t fake any of this stuff. My assumption here is that you are a good human and you do care about people. But then if you were to say, “Well what’s the hardest thing about running your own business?” I might say things like, “Well gosh…You know the deal that everybody says, ‘It’s awesome working through other people and watching them shine. It’s also really really challenging to communicate and develop people and when sometimes I feel like I could do it faster.’”
It just gives them an opportunity to share, makes them feel really really good. You’ll learn something, as well, about a topic maybe you don’t know a whole lot about, which is good for you as well.
Number 4: Give a genuine compliment based on what they said.
So if I shared what I just shared about what’s hard about running a business then you could say, “Hey you know what? I really, really liked what you said about how it is more rewarding to work with other people. That’s really, really cool and I appreciate that you said that.” I’m going to like that, right? I’m going to feel happy, and we’re going to be bonded. While you’re listening to their answer, it’s really important that you maintain eye contact and you have a nice warm smile when the other person is talking. This will actually increase bonding mechanisms in our brain and create a bond for you which is really, really cool.
Number 5: Gain agreement. So after you have acknowledged the awkward, asked a question, asked their opinion, given a genuine compliment (all that’s totally real and legit), then you can say something like, “Hey, do you mind if I tell you a little bit about what I do?” Or, “Do you mind if I tell you a little bit about myself as well?” And they’ll say yes, or a variation could be “If I told you what I did for work would that be helpful?” Especially based on what they said, then they’ll probably say “Well yeah, that would be helpful. Then you can tell them what you do and how you can potentially help them or how you can partner with them or whatnot.
So those are the five tips to connecting with people even if you are shy, if you’re an introvert or you are an awkward extrovert. So now you have a way to learn more about people. The next question that you’re probably going to ask is, “How do I talk about my business at a networking event?
We actually did a podcast on that already. So just go ahead and go to the show notes if you are listening to the podcast. If it’s a video just go ahead to the description. You’ll see another link there if you’re on YouTube. If you are just watching this on Facebook or something you can just go to the main site EmergeSalesTraining.com and search networking event and you’ll see the other podcast pop right up. And you’ll be able to get some info on how to talk about your company at a networking event and why that’s important.
Thanks for reading today’s blog. If you felt like you resonated with me or this blog, I want to invite you to join me for some live free training, and, yes, it’s live on either sales, recruiting or leadership. You can go to EmergeSalesTraining.com/freetraining and sign up for the next live free training.
I really hope I can meet you there and if I already have met you, I hope I see you again there. Have a great day.