One of the situations that introverts struggle with is the introduction. Based on experience, it can be pretty awkward to tell people about yourself and what you do for a living, especially if you are meeting them for the very first time. Can you just imagine saying things like, “Ah… I see. So...”? It just makes you want to dash to the exit!
Keeping up with the conversation is another thing that most of us have an issue with, so today, I’d like to hit two birds in one stone - I’ll be talking about how you can introduce yourself in the most natural way and how you can keep the conversation going to make new friends at this social event.
Hello. And welcome to the Traveling Introvert. Today I want to talk to you about networking events. And not just the whole thing because there's a lot I could talk about with networking events. But specifically I want to talk about how to introduce yourself at a networking event. And the reason I want to talk about this is because it's something that I find a lot of my clients struggle with. They might have multiple things that they're interested in, or they are looking for a new job, so they don't want to introduce themselves as X because really they're looking for job Y. The other thing that happens is that people don't want to brag. They don't want to misconstrue themselves. They don't want to be seen as, oh yes, I'm this and I work for such and such because they don't want to be put into a category.
I've found a different way of introducing myself that I find has worked and other people have used this as well. So this is feedback I've got from other people. Instead of saying, "Hi. I'm Jane, and I'm an accountant." And then peoples' next question normally is "Oh. So who do you work for?" And if you don't work for a company that people have heard of, they then don't know what to ask next. And I have this problem. If I say, "Oh, I'm a career coach for introverts." Most people have no idea what to say next. They are like, "Oh, so you've come out of your introvert shell." Or the conversation literally just dies. It's not exciting. It's not sexy. People just don't know what to say to that, unless they're an introvert. Then they're super interested.
I've come to say instead that I help introverted women achieve success in their career and their business because this helps lead to other questions. People will then ask you, "Oh, well, what does that entail?" Or "How do you do that? Is all your work virtual? Is that what you're doing here now?" It naturally leads to more questions where you can then maybe talk about a client. So I would say, "Oh I helped X client do this and this and this, and now they work for this company." Or "Now they have their own business." Or "Now they do sales without pressure." Or whatever it might be. But if you get a person who's interested, you can be like "Okay, so what is your top problem?" And they will tell you their problem, and you can say "I would solve it by doing this, this, and this."
It shows your problem solving skills and puts you in a light of oh, you can help do this, that, and the other. It gives a very practical example of what you do without you saying, "I'm an accountant." There's so many different types of accountants. There are forensic accountants, there's small business accountants, there are corporate accountants. Saying accountant isn't enough. So if you could say, "Oh. Well I help businesses or I help my business save money on their bottom line." Then someone's like "Oh, well how do you do that?" Because you do this, this, this, and this. It helps guide the conversation better than just saying "Hey. I do this, and this is all that you need to know about me."
That's what I wanted to share. Think about what you've done or how you help people, how you serve people. And use this as your introduction when someone says, "So what do you do?" "I blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. I help this person achieve this, that, and the other. Or I support these type of people do this, this, and that by X, Y, and Z." This, I have found, is a great way to get conversations going and without you feeling like you're selling yourself. You're giving hard concrete facts about what you do and how you do it. And it leads to far more engagement and a more in-depth conversation and avoids all of that small talk and helps people think about what they do, and how they help people.
On the flip side, when someone says, "Oh, I'm an accountant." And you can ask them, "But what type of accounting do you do? What type of clients do you help, and how do you help them?" And that, again, helps lead to a deeper conversation.
All right. Thank you for listening. That was my tip for today. This is Janice. If you have any questions for me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to helping you with your career and your business in line with your introversion.