The world is build around social people, but in reality, it’s run by quiet people, the men behind the curtain.
I’m an introvert. People who pay attention will notice that. You will never convince me to talk on the phone with you, I don’t attend conferences or meet-ups and I have met in person only 1% off all people I have ever worked with.
When you are in introvert, networking can be hard, but only if you allow other people to dictate the circumstances.
Let’s first understand what being introvert is
Introverts hate social interactions, especially with strangers. Talking with someone drains their emotional strength and they try to avoid it. They hate when strangers initial conversation with them and try to avoid situations like this with all possible means.
Introverts like to handle things in a simple way. They are often straight forward, don’t do pointless small talk and will never tell you white lies.
A written mean of communication is best for introverts, as then they can keep a distance from you and not get emotionally involved. By talking with someone face to face or on the phone feels like they are opening up their inner self, which is very uncomfortable.
Introverts do socialize, but much more rarely and only with the people they already know.
Don’t exit your comfort zone.
A lot of people say that you should leave your comfort zone. I don’t really know why they say it, but it’s bullshit. You should never leave your conform zone.
By leaving your comfort zone, you will only get yourself into a new, stressful, unpleasant situation, where others will expect you to act, but you won’t be able to, and will most likely blow your chance.
Of course, you can practice, and if you are stubborn and hardworking, in a year or two you may conquer all your difficulties. But what’s the point?
Why to it by hard way, when there’s an easy way? Why to change yourself, when you can change the surrounding?
So how to network when you are an introvert?
In reality, there are two ways. Low budget and high budget way. By playing smart, you can turn a high budget way into the medium budget, and of course, combining both low ways is highly recommended.
Low budget way
Forget that you are an introvert. Forget that there are extroverts and introverts. Start assuming that all people are like you (introverts) and that avoiding social interactions and human contact is normal for everyone. After all, that’s what extroverts are doing all the time, assuming that everyone is happily social just like them.
Next time someone proposes you to have a phone call or meet in person, act like that’s something weird and not normal. Other people force their mindset into you, so you need to do the same. Show them that in your world things are not done this way.
But this is not all. You need to be proactive. You need to build a strong comfort zone around means of communication that you prefer and stick with them.
Take control in your hands
- Network with people online, for example on Linkedin.
- Focus only on written communication: Email, Skype, Telegram etc.
- Focus on non-verbal medium: Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Work alone at home.
- Tell it straight that you don’t want to talk on the phone or meet in person. Making up excuses will only maintain the false illusion of your character.
Make it impossible for other people to interact with you outside of your comfort zone
- Do not reveal your phone number.
- Do not answer when someone unknown is calling you.
- Do not use WhatsApp or Viber where people can see your phone number.
- Disable calls on Skype and Telegram.
- Do not own webcam or microphone, so that (video)calls from your PC would not be possible.
- If you work in an office, do not share your address, so that people cannot come there.
- Do not attend conferences nor business meet-ups.
Hold your ground
If people still try to push you into doing things you don’t want to, then they really have no respect for you, and you as might stop doing business with them.
There’s no right nor wrong way. There’s only majority and minority. Majority of people are extroverts, but it doesn’t mean that their way is the correct way. They try to dominate simply because most of them are unthoughtful and they may not even realize that many people are not comfortable with their way of doing things.
High budget way
Hire someone to represent yourself. This can be one person or even several people. Make him the face of your company and send him to every meeting. Gather a sales team that will take care of all of your clients, so that you will never have to talk with them. Be the brain, be the man behind the curtain.