You’re fine on your own but, when it comes to business and social situations, you freeze up. What should you do? Here are some ways successful business owners deal with social anxiety.
Go To Toastmasters and Get Comfortable With Social Situations
This is probably the hardest thing to learn, but it’s definitely doable. If you practice public speaking, you will automatically become less shy about talking in public. But, you’ll also feel more comfortable in social situations.
You also have to adjust your mindset from “network” to “goal seeking.” Why are you going to these events? Is it because you’re trying to make new friends? Sometimes, that’s the case, but usually not. Usually, you’re trying to network for business contacts, prospects, and vendors.
New Jersey car accident lawyers, for example, will do it to find leads, or potential partners in related industries.
Another trick is to contact people in advance. Get a list of the attendees prior to the event. See if these people are people you want to meet. If not, no need to go to the meeting. If they are, then you can prepare.
Bring Someone With You
Need a confidence boost? Bring a wingman. Get a co-worker to join you at your event. You can also have them bring someone else with them. Your colleagues can also use their connections to make an introduction for you. Now, while you can hang out at the event together, do not become joined at the hip. That’s generally a bad idea. You’ll defeat the purpose of networking.
Get behind the scenes access to key players in the industry. Checking in attendees, for example, can let you meet with the people you want when they walk in the door. Score face time with an industry influencer by picking up the keynote speaker at the airport.
Keep The Focus On Them
When you network, it’s about building relationships. Be the person that asks thoughtful questions and sit back and listen. You can feel free to answer questions, but always try to shift focus back on them and engage them. Be interested in them as people and as businesspeople.
Introverts are natural listeners, so if you’re not generally inclined to seek out social situations, play to your strengths: listen.
Form A Strategic Exit Plan
When the conversation is over, end the meeting, fast. You could say something like “It was great meeting you. I’d love to get together for lunch sometime soon to continue this conversation.” And, get their contact information.
Then, follow up with them within the week. If the person doesn’t have a business card, ask for their website, or their contact info on LinkedIn.
Practice is something you need as an introvert. Even if you do everything above, there’s still a chance you’ll get scared and freeze up at an event. Practicing helps you become more comfortable in social situations. You can make the process significantly less stressful by attending networking events regularly and getting involved.
And, not only is that good for your psyche, it’s good for business.
Jesse Whitis is a quiet guy who started his business a few years ago. He has had to learn how to deal with people on a day-to-day basis and shares his tips in this articles.