Have you met an “observer” at a networking event? They are usually the leads you want to make. Society may be indifferent about that segment of personalities. They are seen as unnoticeable, labelled as unpopular and may seem suspicious. However, if you encounter a quiet person who is standing at the side and scanning the room, make sure not to discount their presence. Instead, explore their subjects of interest. They usually have master knowledge about matters that others may be wondering about.
As an introvert myself, I have found it difficult to associate at networking events. I repeatedly observed how others engage into short conversations that leave no impression or value behind. I had to build a strategy, based on observed dynamics, so I can make leads and meet objectives. Here are some thoughts and guidelines that may increase the value of time spent at networking events:
Socializers are in general lively, bubbly, extroverted by nature and love to talk and laugh. Approach them with friendly greetings, listen to their stories, allow them room for fun remarks and laugh to their jokes. Extroverts thrive on engaging with people and they tend to easily jump between topics. A good way to connect with a socializer is to use direct, focused questions that will guide the conversation and end the encounter by introducing them to another networker.
Introverts usually find it difficult to initiate conversations and may seem aloof and unapproachable. That may be a reaction to being left neglected in a room filled with people. Approach them by inviting them to join a conversation. Probe them to find their topics of interest and initiate discussions around these topics. Contributing to deep discussion is their forte, so exchanging thoughts and opinions about issues that matter will keep them engaged. The best way to end a discussion with an introvert is to show interest in the topic and suggest to continue the discussion at a later date.
Recognizing these differences in personalities is key in acquiring and retaining leads. To understand the influence of people’s behaviour in the dynamics of networking will guide the approach used with different personalities, and in return, it becomes easier to meet objectives behind time spent at business networking.