Learn the art of networking and selling as an introverted online entrepreneur
As introverts, we tend to spend a lot of time at home on our computers and phones. This might be great when creating laser-focused content under the pressure of a deadline, but not so great at expanding our network. This is where Luis Vasquez comes in. I met Luis at the inaugural Craft + Commerce conference hosted by ConvertKit this summer in Boise, Idaho.
Not only is Luis an expert coder and breakdancer (yeah, how awesome is that?!), he’s a leader and educator helping introverts sell their products and services effectively and confidently.
He took time out of his busy weekend at Seth Godin’s AltMBA conference in NYC to chat with me about how to network, even for shy introverts like me.
A few things to note about the video. My internet connection threw a tantrum around minute 7 so Luis and I switch to audio. Another thing to note, apparently I bite my pen a lot and don’t have the interviewing skills of Oprah…I hope you see past that to get to Luis’ top notch advice.
Prefer the audio version? Get the audio interview here.
Luis is often asked how he gets his foot in the door at the big companies, even Fortune 100 companies. “I have this very simple rule, it’s that I make a lot of friends and it just happens to be that some of those friends want to do business with me. Or they know someone who does. And so I believe that the most powerful thing you can do is make really great connections.”The most powerful thing you can do is make really great connections.Click To Tweet
Connections? Easier said than done. Some of us introverts inadvertently act like serial killers at parties, reclusive, sitting in the corner and just staring at our phones. So how do we start to authentically network and create those connections?
According to Luis, there are 3 phases of conversations.
- Starting the conversation
- Keeping it going
- Deciding whether you want to do it again
Starting the conversation
Conversations start naturally over relatable topics. If you’re standing in line for coffee, you could ask the person next to you in line if the coffee here is good and if they have a recommendation. If you’re at a conference, you already have the shared experience of hearing the talks and content, so you could ask how it’s going for them so far. Finding some sort of common ground is the easiest and most natural way to connect with a stranger.
Keeping it going
But what about the dreaded awkward lull when neither of you have anything to say? Ugh. No one likes the awkward silence. “Curiosity is what keeps it going,” Luis says. “So if you’re genuinely curious about the person next to you that you’re having a conversation with, and they’re curious about you, that conversation is going to keep going. The awkwardness happens only when the curiosity has come to an end.”How to keep a conversation going as an introvert? Curiosity is what keeps it going. Click To Tweet
Deciding whether to do it again
Luis tells introverts to ask themselves this question, “do you like/connect with this person enough to have another conversation with them at some point in the future?”
If so, then you get their digits, ask for their contact information or their business card. You’ve already made the connection, so this is the opportunity for you to solve a problem for them – offer something of value, provide a resource, a link to an article. or even just a thank you.
Prefer the audio? Download or stream here. You can find Luis at MightyIntrovert.com and learn while he’s currently broke on purpose. He also breaks down how to maximize in person events as an introvert in his informative post How to make the most of events as an introvert. Thanks so much, Luis. You definitely qualify as a Creative Gangster.