Contrary to popular belief, introverts make great networkers and can have incredible success building business relationships. During the course of writing my book Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships In A Hyper-Connected World, I interviewed a number of individuals whose professional success was achieved through the power of their networks, and in the course of interviewing them, discovered they were introverts.
Manisha Thakor is one of my Build Your Dream Network interviewees. She describes herself as profoundly introverted and has taken control of networking (and her career) - rather than allowing the fear or dislike of the process sideline her ambitions. Manisha is director of wealth strategies for women at the BAM Alliance, a community of 140-plus independent registered investment advisors. A Zig Ziglar quote reset how Manisha chose to start approach networking.
You can have everything in life you want -- if you will just help other people get what they want.
Manisha is growing her wealth-management business one small networking event at a time - networking events she designs from the theme to the invites. As she shares in my book, "...her aim with each event (from her Lean In Ladies Lunches to Playing Big evening reception) has been to make connections to help every attendee solve a problem or address a business challenge." Of course, gaining new clients was her ultimate goal, but Manisha pursues her particular goal by being helpful and continually at the top of her network's mind.
This mindset carries into Manisha's digital networking strategies. She regularly sends out a newsletter packed with thought-leadership and industry insights. She also records the MoneyZen podcast that is sent out through her business network of independent financial advisors and shared with their clients. MoneyZen is Manisha's joy-based approach to personal finance, honoring the core values of simplicity, freedom and abundance. Incorporating her personal values into business activities has been a purposeful networking decision.
Whether you're an introvert or not, if creating your own networking events to build client relationships resonates with you as a business strategy, here are Manisha's four success tips:
- Select attendees carefully. While you may start by inviting everyone you meet (or everyone referred to you), curate the guest list over time. As Manisha shares in Build Your Dream Network, "Knowing exactly who she was looking to meet opened up opportunities to invite more of the potential clients she was looking for".
- Have an actionable takeaway. Manisha's primary goal for each event is for the attendees to leave with investing information they can put to use right away. And by giving them that information, she meets her second goal: attendees know exactly the type of services she offers.
- Create a follow-up strategy. Manisha's follow-up strategy is her newsletter. Event attendees are on the distribution list which she uses to frequently circulate some of the best articles she has found.
- Build your network early. This classic networking advice is something Manisha took to heart early in her career. It takes time to establish trust, so Manisha's guidance is to start building relationships early and to keep at it using the networking tactics that work best for you!