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For Shy Guys and Gals: 6 Business Networking Event Tips for Wallflowers

For Shy Guys and Gals: 6 Business Networking Event Tips for Wallflowers

Is it difficult for you to approach someone you don’t know to talk about your product? Are you uncomfortable with the thought of being rejected? Do you get nervous at large business networking events? Here are some tips to ease you into it so that you can be more successful and confident about your business. Become a thought-leader and an evangelist for your brand.

Learn To Relax

You can’t talk about your product or service if you’re not relaxed. Practice meditation, if you have to. Go to yoga class. Whatever you do, get in the habit of settling down before you go to networking events or speak with prospects.

One popular new app that might help you is Headspace. Headspace teaches you how to meditate and can calm you down and put you into a relaxed state in just 10 minutes.

Have a “Canned” Response That Explains What You Do

Practicing an “elevator speech” is something that most salespeople and business owners are taught to do early on. But, you have to move beyond the phony-sounding canned speeches into a natural-sounding canned speech.

How do you do this? By reframing your “elevator speech” as your company’s mission statement or purpose. And, it doesn’t have to be grandiose either. It can (and probably should) be as simple as “My company does _______” or “My company_________” and fill it in with an accurate and precise action-statement about the problems you solve for your customers.

For example, this ice cream packaging company could use an excellent statement like “Our company makes custom ice cream packaging.” It’s short. It’s sweet (no pun intended). And, it’s descriptive.

Stay Positive

You need to stay positive about the work that you do. Don’t put your head down or mumble. Don’t be unsure of what you do, and don’t feel guilty or shy about what your company does. You’re proud of your business, aren’t you?

Tell Stories

Instead of “selling,” tell stories. People tend to respond better to storytelling than they do straight-up sales pitches. Humans are hardwired to like stories. They’re exciting, they take us on an adventure, we can connect with character, and they teach complex moral and philosophical lessons in a fun and entertaining way.

Try to do that with your company’s product or service.

Ask Others About Their Business, Fit Into Their Values

This is something almost no business does well. When you ask others about their business and then find where you fit into their company and culture, you eliminate the resistance typical in sales and marketing. Suddenly, you’re not pushing your product on someone else.

You’re part of the conversation that’s already going on inside their head. So, for example, if you sell CRM software, you should look for opportunities that fit within a company’s already-existing value structure. So, a company rep might mention how they get leads.

You make a mental note that it’s not as efficient as your product. Ask the rep how they overcome a challenge that your company solves (but don’t talk about your product yet). When they struggle for an answer or they admit that it’s frustrating, now is your opportunity to respond with something like, “Oh, that’s interesting. I like your approach to xyz, and we actually had the same problems in our company until we developed (your product).”

This usually starts a whole new conversation – one that you want to have.


Sometimes, you don’t need to do a lot of talking. Listen to what your prospect says. Listen to his problems. He may hand you the sale on a silver platter.

Will Collins is a small business owner of several years. A passionate writer, he likes to share what has worked for him in his own company. Look for his articles on a number of websites and blogs.

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