Introverts Often Make The Best Networkers
On this episode of the Sales Gravy Podcast, Jeb Blount (Virtual Selling) and Matthew Pollard (The Introverts Edge to Networking) take on networking for introverts.
One of the biggest myths about networking is that to be an effective networker you need to have the “gift-of-gab” and be an outgoing self-promoter. The truth is, it’s just the opposite. In fact, introverts often make the best networkers. You just need a plan, system, and authenticity.
On this paradigm-shifting podcast episode, you learn tips and tactics for leveraging your innate introvert superpowers to target prospects and influencers, engage in networking conversations, and turn networking into a repeatable system that helps you build your business and pipeline.
Matthew: The Inspiration Behind The Introvert’s Edge to Networking
A lot of people don’t like networking and I think it’s because they don’t understand what networking really is. They go to networking events and they see these people that do transactional networking. They have these surface-level conversations with people and they walk out with all these business cards without having a real conversation with anyone.
The cards sit on their desk and they think, “If they call me, then I’ll work with them.” And of course, they never do. So they had this mindset that networking just doesn’t work. People need to be more strategic when they’re networking. Secondly, networking doesn’t just take place in a networking room.
People assume you have to be face to face because it doesn’t work virtually. And now people are realizing they can actually sell more if they stay at home. Networking is the same way. Most people don’t even know how to articulate the value of what they offer in three minutes when someone is politely listening.
What chance do they have when someone gives them half a second online?
Jeb: What to Do With That Stack of Business Cards
I was working with a group of CPAs who were going to networking events, but they weren’t really getting anything out of them. When I asked about their process, they said, “We talk to people, collect their business cards, and then we come back and wait for them to call us.”
I asked why they don’t call them, and they said, “Well, we do call them, but sometimes we’ll call them like three or four weeks later. We don’t want to bother them right after the networking event.” This is not hard. Why don’t you try calling them 24 hours after the networking event? Because they’re probably going to remember you right away. They won’t remember you in a month from now.
The advice I gave them was this: The next networking event you go to, when you get their business card, write down something about the person on the back of the business card. As I walk away, I go to my LinkedIn app on my phone and I send them a connection request.
The probability that they accept my request goes up exponentially. They also gave me a business card that usually has their cell phone number on it. So I send them a text message that says, “It was so nice meeting you, thank you so much for the conversation. I’ll give you a call tomorrow.”
And then I call them the next day. If you do that, appointments go up exponentially. We followed up with this group a couple of weeks later, and sure enough, it was working for them. Suddenly they were meeting people, calling them, and getting meetings.
What’s your take on starting conversations, following up, and making connections online?
Matthew: Follow-Up Doesn’t Have To Be Awkward
If I take a sales mindset, maybe with people on social media, after I walking out of the room means that we are starting to foster that relationship. I’ll connect with them on LinkedIn. Depending on your relationship, why not connect with them on Facebook? Check them out on Instagram.