5 Networking Tips for the Shy Business Person

Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Business Start Up Advice [ 0 Comments ]

business networkingNetworking is one major part of growing a customer base and mingling with other business owners; getting an idea of what they’re doing and also what your customers are after. Essentially, networking is a measure of your ability to have a conversation that will end up with a sale or business card.

And, often times you can tell who the natural born conversation artist is; that person who can extract any amount of information from their surroundings. Unfortunately most people are not like this and much like anything else, you need to practice in order to get good at it.

But, what if you can’t get the hang of it? Whether you’re at a trade show or event, you don’t want to miss out on a great networking opportunity. Instead take these 5 tips with you to your next networking event and no doubt you’ll leave with new contacts and potential clients.

Seek Out – You won’t be the only one that isn’t up to par with the regular networking attendees so look out for anyone else who seems to be alone or sticking to the side lines. Approach them to make small talk, and then build on the conversation. As time passes you may begin to attract more people over to your conversation.

Genuine –Many people like to put on a show when surrounded by big groups of people; the businessman shouting about his big money deal springs to mind, but you are more likely to attract the right kind of people and attention if you stick to being you. Everyone loves a genuine person; the same can’t be said for the big shot beside you.

Meet everyone – Spend as much time as possible moving around and meeting everyone. This is part of getting over the fear or shyness you struggle with. The more people you speak to, the more likely they are to listen and take notice.

Don’t Sell – Sales 101: Listen, don’t talk. This is true for networking as well. The cheesy sales people may try you everything in their coat pockets but you’ll take notice of them right away. Don’t be that person; because chances are you get banned from attending future events but most importantly you give a very bad image for you and your company.

Be Positive – Some people like to think that networking events are pointless for business opportunities and that they in fact have the same people there every time. This is the sort of negative mentality that will no doubt give you few opportunities. Be open minded and embrace everything at the event with a positive mind-set. Chances are you’ll learn something but most importantly leave with a whole host of new contacts to start building the ever important business relationship with.

You don’t need to hide your nerves, simply ease into it. However, be sure to you push yourself because you will end up wasting a huge amount of time just standing in the corner not achieving anything. A final quick tip: find the speaker or presenter and go speak to them first. People always to this person and they will always have the same common grounds to speak on.

Photo credit: shoestring.com.au

Marius Fermi is the Director of Enterprise Communications for Tactical Sales Training. We offer B2b focused Sales TrainingSales Management Training & Other Sales Courses. We love to teach the subtle art of sales. 

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