In episode #659, Eric and Neil discuss how you can be an introvert and still network effectively. Tune in to hear how you can overcome shyness and build connections.
TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES:
- [00:27] Today’s Topic: The Introverts Guide to Networking
- [00:48] Eric is an introvert, so networking was a struggle.
- [01:18] Eric and his friend had no idea what to do at their first event. Then they realized that other people were just as introverted.
- [01:40] At future events, they just introduced themselves to anyone in the room they wanted to speak with. It was a simple opening to future connections.
- [02:08] Storytelling is an important way to connect with others.
- [02:15] When people feel that they know and understand you, they will connect with you.
- [02:40] When people feel a commonality, they are more likely to work and connect with you.
- [03:00] Don’t force connections, just find truths and similarities that can facilitate a bond.
- [03:35] Don’t be the person just throwing their business cards at every single person.
- [03:55] Start with building ONE strong relationship.
- [04:20] You can throw dinners for like-minded people (Mastermind Dinners).
- [05:01] It’s not how many people you meet, but the quality of the connections.
- [05:15] Drinking isn’t necessary, but it loosens people up.
- [05:32] Once you’re used to networking, try to have real conversations with people. Go deeper.
- [06:08] That’s it for today!
- [06:12] Go to Singlegrain.com/Giveway for a special marketing tool giveaway!
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Full Transcript of The Episode
Eric Sui: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School, I'm Eric Sui.
Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.
Eric Sui: And today we're going to give you the introvert's guide to networking. So Neil are you an introvert?
Neil Patel: I don't think so. Are you?
Eric Sui: I'm an introvert, yeah. I'm a TJ.
Neil Patel: I didn't know that. I don't think I'm an introvert. I could be wrong but I have no idea.
Eric Sui: So what's? I guess I'll go then because I'm the introvert here. For me, approaching networking in the past, in the very beginning when I was first starting out I would go to these basically I would say, okay, I'm looking to get into digital marketing, I want to meet more people and I would basically go to meetup.com and I would type in relevant keywords, such as digital marketing or entrepreneurship for example and I would drag my friend along with me who actually is a very successful digital marketer now. But we were still very new in our career and we were both working in a digital marketing agency and we were like, okay, how do we go beyond this? How do we do more? And so we were both hungry for that.
The first event that we went to we had no idea what we were doing. We were kind of wallflowers, we were sitting in the corner. Didn't really know who we should be talking to so we kind of just stood on our own. And then we realized that there were other introverts like us. So what we would do, one of the first thing we would do is we would approach the wallflowers out there. We basically had this five second rule too. Where if we felt like we should talk to someone, we would just go in there and approach them. Even if they were in a group, we could go in there and approach them because you would find most of the time people were very receptive to meeting other people.
So we would just introduce ourselves and then learn more about them. What you'll find is, when you talk to people that you don't know, just get them to talk about themselves more. When they are talking about, hey like, what are you up to? How can I be helpful? You're basically starting a relationship that way and you're trying to relate to them as much as possible and Neil I actually want to turn this over to you because you are really good at relating with people. What do you do to try to related with people more?
Neil Patel: Storytelling. You need to find out about their past. Find out about their history and you need to try to talk about stories or events in your life that are relevant to theirs. When people feel that they know you more, for example, we were all at a dinner yesterday and one of the guys who was with us, his name is Chog, he was just like, Oh yeah, I grew up in Detroit and my buddy Matt, who's also with us, was like, oh yeah, I also grew up around Detroit, where did you grow up? And because I came from a similar town, they just started talking and getting along and it works really well. Now they didn't do it on purpose, but that's what happens. When people feel that there is some sort of commonality they're much more likely to get hooked into you. More likely to feel connected. They are more likely to want to do business. People like doing business with other people that they like.
Now, you don't want to pry and be like, hey by the way, did you have a tree house? I had a tree house. Like that's really awkward and you don't want to get to know people that way. It's more so as they start talking you can figure out really quickly if there's anything similar that you've done or similarities and you don't want to just talk to them about business you want to talk to them about personal stuff like if you're at an event or a marketing, oh yeah, what do you think there's to do for fun around here? Or like what do you enjoy for doing for fun, right? And that will give you ideas of what they like or what they don't like and then you can start talking about similar things.
Eric Sui: Yeah, and the other thing I will say too, if you're starting out, don't think that you need to necessarily go meet everyone. There's always that one person that's at an event that's rapidly handing out cards, right? Boom, boom, boom, boom. Handing like 50 cards out. At the end of the day, they haven't, they've hit their breadth, but they haven't gone through the depth. They haven't, you know, tried to establish real relationships, real connections with maybe like a couple of people, right. So my thing with these, especially if your starting out again is to focus on building one strong relationship. You start out that way, one strong relationship, that's going to lead to more things. You're going to gain momentum, you're going to gain confidence.
Now if you don't even want to go to events, that's fine, but you know Neil and I we go to conferences all the time now, once you start to get the juices going you'll probably end up going to more events. But I think when you're first starting out too, Neil just brought up the concept of dinners, right? Neil and I went out to dinner yesterday. You can throw dinners with like minded people. You can call them masterminds, of you know, maybe once a month or so, and you can even tell some of the people to bring a plus one. So it could be an entrepreneur, it could be like a marketer. I would highly recommend that you Google Mastermind Dinners. This is by a guy named Jason Gaignard, Google Mastermind Dinners and there's a pdf there, literally a checklist that you can follow for throwing these dinners of like minded people and that in itself if networking because you're just meeting people.
Neil Patel: So for all you introverts, I've dealt with them so many times because I have a few of them who work for me within my company, or more than a few. You know, as Eric mentioned, you don't want to go to an event? That's fine, go with someone. Someone if they need to drag you along, that's okay. Someone needs to hold you accountable.
Number two. It's not about how many people that you are meeting, it's about quality. But at the beginning, go and just try to talk to a lot of people and get more business cards. What you'll find is that will open you up and that will get you to talk to more people.
Number three. Don't recommend this, but it works for some people. Some people on my team like drinking some alcohol before they start doing the networking and talking. It loosens them and it makes them much easier to talk to, to jive. I'm not saying get drunk, I'm not saying get buzzed, but a few sip does help people, again not recommending this, just works for some.
Number four. Once you're doing the networking, and you do this a few times, then your used to talking to people, now you want to start with something more detailed. So instead of just trying to get a business card then start talking real conversations with people, get to know them, their business, try to help them, and from there, you'll build real relationships. When you're approaching people and you're first starting off, don't go for the groups, it's going to be the most intimidating. Go for people who are by themselves because there is probably another introvert and it's easier to communicate with them and as you get used to dealing with individuals, then you can start communicating with people who are in much bigger groups.
Eric Sui: Great, so that's it for today but before we go, go to singlegrain.com/giveaway to get access to our marketing tools to help you grow your business.
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