Making new friends in business is challenging when interacting with people naturally drains you. You might actually enjoy meeting new people, but it wears you down faster than most. What do you do?
No. 1: Set yourself up for success.
Your introversion is likely a key part to your success. It often makes people more observant and insightful when they prefer to have time to themselves. So, honor your own space and needs. Pass on hosting or attending parties beforehand and, instead, energize yourself with activities like reading a good book or playing a favorite video game. Similarly, plan to recharge after the event.
This preparation will help ensure you’re always mentally ready for networking events, virtual or in-person.
No. 2: Create reasonable expectations.
Setting your expectations is a key part of creating a successful plan for any networking event, and it’s totally okay if you don’t collect 20 business cards in an hour. Try to make just one or two meaningful connections — that might be all you really want or need, anyway.
No. 3: Ask for introductions.
If you don’t know anyone at an event, talk to a moderator or someone who seems friendly. Introduce yourself, talk about your shared interests in the field, and explain that you don’t know anyone there. Then, ask if they can make any introductions. There’s a good chance you’ll find an ally who can give you a hand!
For introverts or extroverts alike, it’s easier than ever to network as an AFEUSA member, though. We’ve just partnered with BeeKonnected, the premier online hub for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, home-based business owners, and business professionals to connect and collaborate to achieve greater success in less time with less expense! Join AFEUSA today and get discounted access to the BeePro platform today!
Article by Charles Jackson, President of AFEUSA