Can being an Introvert be a problem for a Business Owner ?

Posted on Posted in Blogging, Customer Relationships, Marketing

As you are reading this right now there will be at least one in four people around you are likely to have be diagnosed with Mild to Severe Depression. That’s a huge amount of people that you probably didn’t know were suffering. A number of people I know have gone thru it due to work related stress, marriage breakdowns and severe illness and they are amazing and get thru when you can clearly see some task are a big thing for them. None of them wear a badge saying their depressed and while their being treated you as a passer by would never know. I have been there myself in the past and you can if you’re not careful stop your whole life (become an introvert).

Just recently I was discussing with another Lancashire Business Owner, the subject of how to help people, friends that have the hidden demon and that some people end up change from being and extrovert to the opposite extreme. Now can you imagine being a business owner and being introvert, every day you speak to your customers would be a challenge, but there must be a number of them out there. At that point, an admission came from her that she was introvert. After the usual, “I never knew ? Really ? Nah ?” comments it made me think about 2 things.

  1. How do you sell as an introvert?
  2. How can you network with an introvert?

Most introverts, flinch at the idea of networking, maybe even compare it to be less appealing than pulling teeth. So what make makes the  Superficial chit-chat, the sense of being sized up and evaluated, and the weird transactional feeling that we all go thru when at Networking events is unpalatable to the introvert? Personally for me  I have in my working experience been in some high profile meetings where you have to stand your ground, and to me it was at the time I was working as an employee just part and parcel of being and IT Manager. Whether the people I was talking to were in Japan, Texas, USA or Gloucester it was just the norm. For an introvert, any meeting is a big thing. Introverts who can’t network have a special technique and I shall not pretend I understand it fully, but they have “Business Relationships”. A relationship is a mutual understanding of how two people, two businesses, can help each other.

There are interesting people everywhere, your next customer could be sat next to you on the commute on the train to work or even the coffee shop you got to at lunch time. One of the things I have found  a lot even on weekends, when I should be relaxing,  just being  open to lettting people in  and allow them to “meet you”, never hurts. I have met a lot of people from over the world, when I have been on an overnighter with my previous employers. Belfast for me has been the hub of very nice people. I have stayed at the Europa, drunk and eat at all kinds of venue in Belfast, and met a cosmopolitan network of people, friends and future business partners Europa, drunk and ate at all kinds of venue in Belfast, and met a cosmopolitan network of people, friends and future business partners Belfast, and met a cosmopolitan network of people, friends and future business partners. You just never know who is next to you and even the introvert can take advantage of the nonformal networking proposition Remember your future best friend, colleague, collaborator, mentor, or the love of your life could be right next to you.

I think these less formal situations make the introvert empowered. At a networking event, you are likely to have practiced and polished your pitch. But in normal life,  when you’re at the coffee shop or train station you’re are in low-risk situation, so you can be relaxed and resourceful when you need to be. Genuine curiosity can lead you to many adventures and build many relationships

So if you’re an introvert, like my colleague, who struggled to make peace with the idea of networking, take heart! You now have an alternative and if need be never network again. Instead, connect to your curiosity and focus on building relationships. Try it tonight on the way home, you will be surprised to see how many opportunities arise.

And any extroverts reading, we also have permission to try the technique..

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