You might not be the type of person who loves to socialize, attend big parties or network whenever you get the chance. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be a great connector. Successful connectors, who would be classified as introverts, will often enter into social situations with a plan for making the desired connections. And a plan almost always produces better results than going into a networking event or other meeting and just “winging it.”
To effectively connect with another person, it doesn’t matter whether you are introverted or extroverted. What matters is that you’ve spent some time thinking about which relationships are most vital to you and have a plan for reaching those individuals effectively.
Do introverts connect better than extroverts? Sometimes, but recently one of the nation’s best-known networking professionals came to the realization that he is an introvert!
Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI and author of 11 books on networking, shared this shocking discovery with me in a recent interview. Misner said that his wife of 20 years told him during dinner one night that he displays many introvert tendencies.
“It struck me why I started BNI,” Misner said. “I was naturally uncomfortable meeting new people. BNI created a system that enabled me to meet people in an organized, structured networking environment that did not require that I actually talk to strangers.”
So, if we all can potentially be great connectors, how can we focus to improve our skills and results? By having a plan.
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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing, LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. For more information, go to www.redzonemarketing.com.