Some people love networking, others shudder at even the thought of it. While you may think that being an introvert is a drawback for those in business, it is actually an amazing quality for building relationships in business. Why? Because you are  focused on where you’re headed, and what you need — and less distracted by the superficial ‘noise’ around you.

So don’t let the world convince you that building strong relationships in business requires you to be an extrovert!

Amanda Rose founder of Small Business Women Australia, has put together her top tricks to build relationships and strategically connect when networking doesn’t come naturally — or even worse, you loathe it.

1. Build up a strong online presence

This is THE easiest way to build a network and have a profile without having to constantly be out and about networking. For business professionals, you should be aware of all mediums however focusing on a handful and doing it well will reap benefits. LinkedIn is a necessity for anyone in business. Others which are beneficial are Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

2. Video

This may sound weird as a recommendation for an introvert. However, it is often easier and more comfortable to video yourself and have it edited, then distribute it in a controlled environment, than to deal with strangers face to face. Further, the messages and pitches you polish for video will actually make it easier when you have to network face-to-face at some time.

3. Leverage media (print & online)

There are many websites that will accept your content without you having to leave your laptop. Content is king and distributing that content is queen. So ‘get your writing on’ and produce quality pieces of educational information in your area of expertise. You can also respond to media call-outs, contact media outlets and offer yourself as a commentator on an area you are passionate about and experienced in.

4. Network in small groups/informal events

When life and network groups get back to normal, keep your networking to small groups or one-on-one meetings. If you don’t know of any, create your own. Invite a handful of people out to lunch. The smaller the group, the more detailed and immersed the discussions are — and the stronger the connections will be.

5. Buddy up at large events

Large events can’t be avoided; and if you go, they need to be leveraged. If you are uncomfortable in large crowds with whom you’re expected to mingle, take a buddy along. Someone who can help you work the room, support conversations you have and help you connect with new people. Remember that everyone in that room is there to meet you and everyone else in that room. Enjoy the process. Learn what you can about the people you engage with. If you are uncomfortable talking about yourself, ask questions about them!

6. Master the follow-up

Don’t fall into the trap of the follow-up freeze. You stare at people’s business cards and start overthinking whether you should be following them up. And if you do, what do you have to say? Do they care? Will they even remember you? Stop this! For starters, they would not have connected with you at an event if they didn’t care about what you had to say or offer.

Secondly, always consider this. Make it as easy as possible for someone to work with you. Remember you are an expert in what you do so help others understand that by educating others on ways you can help them, including examples of what you have done before.

In today’s society where over a third of Australian girls are dissatisfied with their bodies at the age of four, it’s important that we start building resilience and investing in empowering our girls to be body confident, which is why we feel it’s important to discuss how body confidence in young girls starts at home.

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The statistics say it all – the majority of people are afraid of public speaking. It’s one of the top fears many of us have, including the fear of dying, and of spiders!

I know from my own personal experience just how debilitating and frightening this fear can be, and how it can dominate your life. I remember the anxiety I felt in the time before I had a work presentation, and then berating myself for the quality of my performance for weeks afterwards.

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In a competitive marketplace, customer service is a huge consideration for business owners and patrons. The creation of high-value products and services is often at the top of the priority list for entrepreneurs.

Many people believe that giving is a way to make people happy and essential to a thriving business.  

Giving endlessly in your business is actually a recipe for a crash and burn – not only for you, but for your finances and clients as well. It erodes the long-term sustainability of your business, your body, your relationships, and everything that you are up to in the world.

There are other possibilities

Here are some things to consider – and change – so that you are still a valuable resource for your clients, but not depleting yourself and your business in the process:

Empower your clients

Our desire to help people goes awry when it turns into a level of giving that disempowers them. When people actually choose and reach for something they give it more value in their mind. For most of us, the more value we assign to something, the more we are willing to actually receive from it and we end up valuing it even more. 

This approach to your clients leaves them knowing that they can always ask for more, choose more, and succeed in reaching for it. If you are available to them without giving endless handouts – they know where to find what they are looking for when they are looking for it. From this approach, you become a resource rather than the source.

Action step: When you think you have to give more – stop! 

Pause. Ask yourself, “Is this going to empower my client (and me too)? Or is this going to disempower them?”. Empowerment goes both ways. If your client is empowered, you will be too.

What’s your vibe?

While few people recognize this, it’s the energy, or the vibe, behind everything that we do that actually determines what occurs in our business. If you have the vibe that you need people to choose you in order for your business to be successful, they will pick that up.

For example, have you ever encountered a salesperson that was desperate for a sale? Did you want to buy what they were selling? Probably not. That energy pushes people away. It does not actually work! And yet, people approach sales in this way all the time.  

Action step: Be the choosing one in a business relationship!

In business, most people put themselves in the position of being the chosen one. What that means is that you have decided that people need to choose you in order for your business to survive and thrive. The business then becomes a game of trying to get people to choose you, which isn’t fun – or productive – for anybody.

Take a different perspective and a different vibe. What if you don’t ever need anybody in particular to choose you or your business, and you know that – and embody that in the energy you bring to the world?

How do you do that? First of all, become aware of when you are functioning from the energy of need or lack. Take a breath, get present with yourself, and remind yourself that you are actually pushing people away with that point of view. Then ask yourself, “If I was being the choosing one, rather than the chosen one, what would I actually do?” 

This will give you more awareness over time of the vibe you are putting out into the world – and give you more choice as to what’s going to create the most for you.

When you value you and what it is that you have to give, others do too. When you empower your clients, everybody is greater because of it, including you. Perhaps it’s time to do something very different, put your health and wealth front and center in your own life, and be the choosing one? The world will actually be a greater place if you do! 


About the author
Heather Nichols, MSW, is a Joy of Business facilitator, movement & meditation consultant, tantra practitioner and somatic psychotherapist. She combines her expertise in mind-body therapy with 20 years’ experience in the world of business and entrepreneurship to facilitate people toward a fuller, more joyful, experience of business, life and family. An Access Consciousness® facilitator, healer, and mom, Heather has been running a weekly radio show for more than 6 years. She also facilitates workshops and private consultations online and around the world. She refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer from life and brings to her work a fierce commitment to create joy, ease, and wealth on the planet – in every aspect.