The number one reason why people hate networking is FEAR of talking to people they don’t know. Period.
The average person is so scared to talk to strangers. Think about it? What is the first thing that you learned as a kid? Don’t talk to strangers right? This is why your mind so quickly goes back to that childhood belief and you start to think that it’s not safe to network and if you do it, and you think you’re going to get kidnapped or something.
Ha! Ha! – I just have to chuckle because this is really the thought that comes to mind for some people. But think about this…if you only talk to people you know you will miss major opportunity to build rapport with new people.
Let’s face it, networking is essential to the success of most businesses. Your chance to grow your business rises and falls on your ability to interact with your potential customers on a personal level. You must develop a trust factor in order to build profitable relationships. You must also remember that you are a solution to someone’s problem and you will never know who has the problem that you can solve if you don’t talk to people.
How to Overcome the Fear of Talking To People at Networking Events
There are some specific actions that you could take to overcome your fear of stepping outside of your comfort zone at networking events and they are as follows:
- Set a goal for yourself before you attend a networking event. Decide the number of people you want to talk to or if they’re specific people that you want to meet. It’s always helpful to have that made up in your mind in advance.
- Come up with some specific conversation starters. Have a few questions prepared in advance that you want to ask the people you meet. Here are a few:
- So how did you find out about this event?
- Are you a part of this organization?
- So what is it exactly that you do?
- How did you get started in that field?
- How long have you been doing what you do?
- Do you love it?
- Tell me a little bit more about that.
Remember in any networking situation, the person who asks the most questions controls the conversation. So it’s always a good thing to let your intellectual curiosity run wild and ask as many questions as you possibly can.
- Don’t wait for a formal introduction to get to know someone. Go up to them and introduce yourself. Make sure that when you make that introduction that you let them know that you are a solution to a particular problem.
- Seek people to talk to who are “approachable” and “likable.” Use your gut instincts with this. Because just like everyone else who like to do business with people they know, like and trust, you need to have the same standards and if someone is not approachable or they seem arrogant and distant, don’t waste your time or energy on them. Remember that it’s your world and you don’t have to let everybody in it. Let only those who deserve it.
Now it’s time for you to devise your personal networking plan. Take the time to visit Meetup.com or Eventbrite.com and find the next upcoming events to attend. Create your hit list and pick up our book Network to Increase Your Net Worth to get the best networking tips ever. With our book, which was an Amazon Bestseller you can and will succeed in networking.
Pick up this book!