Networking tips for agents who are introverts
Have you ever taken a personality test and discovered you’re an introvert? If you have, you may have thought to yourself, “Wait, I’m in real estate, I can’t be an introvert!”
Well, believe it or not you are probably not alone. Did you realize that introverts actually make up about 50% of the general population? It’s true. Real estate is no exception. There are plenty of highly successful agents who also happen to be introverts.
Now, as an introvert, you may dread networking events in particular. You’d probably rather be in a dentist’s chair staring down a drill than trying to work a crowd of strangers. Thing is, if you avoid networking altogether, then you could be missing out on some important opportunities.
If you’re hesitant about putting yourself out there, then take a look at these networking tips for introverts:
You signed up to attend a networking event, and now that it’s just a couple of hours away you wish you never had. Your stomach is turning and you would much rather stay in the comfort of your own home than go out and socialize with strangers. Relax and take a deep breath — plenty of people who attend networking events feel the same as you. In other words, you won’t be the only introvert in the room. Once you’re there you’ll probably have a better time than you expected, and it’ll be worth it if you leave with a few genuine connections.
Don’t drink (too much)
It might be tempting to drink a glass of wine (or two, or three) to help you loosen up a bit. Although there is nothing wrong with that first glass of wine, filling up on drinks may lead to you being too comfortable with people you’re meeting for the first time, or worse, demonstrate that you can’t control yourself when a bar is near. This will leave the people you meet with a bad impression and will defeat the purpose of why you went to the networking event in the first place. Stick to one drink and you’ll be just relaxed enough to ease your networking anxiety.
Ask for introductions
Extroverts will often have no issue approaching strangers and starting a conversation. For introverts, this is a challenge equivalent to climbing Mount Everest. One way to turn cold introductions into warmer ones is to ask people who you know at the event to introduce you to their connections that you’d like to meet. The introduction can be done through a fellow guest at the event or you could even contact the organizer of the event beforehand and ask him or her to help you out. Preparation is key to setting up the right introductions.
Find your group
If an event is a day long (a training day for example) there will be a time (we hope!) to have lunch. If there isn’t designated seating, you can ask people you established a good rapport with to join you for lunch. You are now deepening the connection that you first established with your promising new contact(s). But don’t invite them to lunch just because you happened to have exchanged business cards without any promising conversation. Your lunch time is a new opportunity to connect with new people.
Before heading into a networking event, learn how to exit a conversation gracefully. You’ll be a much more efficient networker if you have an easy ‘escape’ plan before walking into a room packed with people. For example, telling somebody you need to use the restroom as an excuse to jump into a conversation with somebody else is not the way to go. Instead, ask for their business card and let them know it was nice meeting them before you make your way over to the next conversation.