Networking Tips for Introverted Accountants
- Be Yourself
- Arrive Early
- Bring a Buddy
- Ask Questions
- Practice for the Big Event
Introverts have a hard time with large groups of people. This leaves them afraid of networking events where they’ll often stand by themselves until it’s time to safely leave. Networking is vital for most business owners, and introverts have skills that can be applied towards these situations if they give themselves a chance. These networking tips for introverts should help at your next big event.
1. Be Yourself
One of the first things you should figure out is what you excel at in these kinds of situations. If you’re better at one-on-one conversations, look for opportunities to talk to one person at a time. Don’t try to be something that you’re not. It’ll come across as awkward. It won’t be a true representation of who you are, and what you have to offer. Instead, try to be as comfortable as possible while looking for situations to apply your strengths.
2. Arrive Early
Introverts tend to arrive late to these events because they dread them so much. They arrive late and try to leave early. When you walk into an event late, others are already talking and mingling. It feels even more awkward for the introvert. If you arrive early, you can take the pressure off meeting a room full of people. You’ll be the one there already meeting people as they arrive. It’s likely that you’ll see another introvert trying to escape. Make this person your new friend at the event.
3. Bring a Buddy
If you feel better with a friend or networking buddy, bring that person with you. It might be someone in the office, an employee, another entrepreneur or a friend. Don’t speak only to that person though. Have this person help you break the ice with new groups of people. The person you bring should have the skills you lack for these type of events. This networking buddy will make it easier to rejoin a group once you’ve left for the restroom or to get a drink. You won’t be waiting on the outside for someone to approach you.
4. Ask Questions
Once you are in a group, turn the conversation from yourself to the other person. People love talking about themselves, so they’ll love the opportunity to talk about their work or an aspect of their business. While you’ll need to discuss your business or work at some point, it’ll help break the ice to ask the other person questions. On the plus side, they’ll remember that you’re a very good listener who was truly interested in their business. That’s a quality strength of an introvert that you should use to your advantage.
5. Practice for the Big Event
It can be scary and daunting to attend a big networking event when you haven’t had much practice. Consider a smaller event in another area where you don’t know anyone, so you can practice. It often gets easier to attend these events when you practice your small talk and tell others about your business.
These networking tips for introverts can help you level up your accounting business when you are able to network effectively without wanting to shrink into the corner. Practice at smaller events, bring a friend and ask questions to become more comfortable with the process. According to CNN Money, It’s an important way to bring in more clients and meet peers as well as mentors in your field who can help you.