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Overcoming Networking Challenges As An Introvert
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Overcoming Networking Challenges As An Introvert

1 min read
 | Apr 27, 2022
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Summary

Tired of awkward, uncomfortable business networking that never seems to lead anywhere? This episode offers a refreshing perspective with guest Matt Alderton, founder and CEO of Bx Global. Matt discusses the evolution of business networking, particularly for introverts, moving away from traditional, transactional methods. He shares his expert insights on cultivating meaningful connections that not only feel more natural for introverts but also significantly contribute to business growth. The conversation explores innovative strategies for building relationships that go beyond conventional networking, emphasizing practical tips for achieving professional success.

In This Episode We Talk About

  1. Can networking really be fun for introverts?
  2. What “fake it till you make it” really means for your networking efforts
  3. Matt A's journey from a shy introvert to a networking CEO
  4. Using your energy to give yourself confidence, even when you don't feel it
  5. It's ok when you need time and space to recharge
  6. What a referral partner is, and how they can explode your business
  7. How to avoid transactional networking
  8. Why process beats personality every time

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Overcoming Networking Challenges As An Introvert
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About Matt Alderton

Matt Alderton
Matt is an award-winning businessman and entrepreneur, a speaker, #1 best-selling author, and a business growth expert. He has owned more than a dozen multi-award-winning businesses, including Australia's largest cloud-based rostering and payroll provider, IWS. He is the founder and CEO of the world's fastest growing business community, Bx Global, dedicated to helping members become the business owners they were meant to be.

About Matthew Pollard

About Matthew Pollard
Called the real deal by Forbes, Matthew is a small business advocate, introvert champion, Rapid Growth® Coach, and keynote speaker. Responsible for five multimillion-dollar success stories before the age of 30, today Matthew is an internationally recognized sales and networking expert, author of the bestselling Introvert’s Edge series, and host of two top-ranked podcasts. His work has transformed over 3500 struggling businesses to date.

Read the Transcript

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Matthew Pollard: Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the Introverts Edge podcast. I’m ecstatic to have you all with me again today and I am beyond ecstatic to introduce you to my next guest, Matt Alderton. Now, Matt Alderton is actually the founder of a networking group called Bx Networking. Yes, I know. Another networking group and another introverted founder. Well, we’re going to ask him and really make sure that he is an introvert.

I’m ecstatic to introduce you to Matt Alderton, welcome to the show, mate.

Matthew Alderton: Great to be here. Thanks, Matthew.

Introverts and Networking Events

Matthew Pollard: Well, I’m really interested in another introvert doing something that everyone knows that introverts aren’t great at. At least that’s what the world thinks. So let’s confront that topic for a second. Do you believe that introverts are disadvantaged to struggle more with networking, or is it just kind of popular psychology?

Matthew Alderton: I think that we can struggle more with networking. I’m not sure that we should necessarily struggle more with networking. I think there’s just that typical intimidation or social anxiety that we have around walking into a room full of people potentially having to introduce ourselves in front of a whole room of people. And, you know, many of us right now are probably getting that anxiety, adrenaline feeling just talking about it.

And I can certainly relate to that. And it’s funny because people have always said to me, I can’t believe you’re an introvert. And it’s it’s just like the reality is you’ve just got to fake it, too. You make it sometimes. But certainly there’s, you know, we all need to learn a few tips and tricks to make sure that we position ourselves great and have a fun time at networking.

At the end of the day, it should be fun, right?

Matthew Pollard: Well, absolutely. Though a lot of introverts, especially perhaps don’t have the amount of fun that they wish that they could have and potentially they see their extroverted counterparts have. So I want to really kind of drill down on this, fake it till you make it thing because a lot of introverts don’t want to behave like someone that they’re not.

They don’t want to behave extroverted, whether in body language or small talk. When you say fake it until you make it, is that what you mean? Or is there something else you mean by that statement that introverts could really kind of take home and like look at what they’re doing or how they’re behaving in a networking room?

Matthew Alderton: Yeah, it’s a good question because sometimes when you say fake it to, you make it. People think that we’re being incongruent with who we are. And I’m not saying that, but it really comes down to everything in life is hard until you’ve done it enough times that it becomes easy and that’s what fake it to make it is about.

So I know many of you of show can relate to this, but back in high school I remember we often had presentations that we had to make to our class on certain topics for, you know, all sorts of all sorts of subjects. And even right now, I can feel the the feeling I had back from when I was in high school about what that was like.

And I, you know, I’d actually rather fail a course, if that’s what it meant to do a presentation or a speech in front of the class. And I was never any good at it in high school. But then I learned when I started working in corporate life that and I was called upon to make presentations that, hey, if I want to be successful, then I’m going to have to do a few things that are outside of my comfort zone.

And as an introvert, that means often speaking in front of people where you typically wouldn’t want to do it and you don’t want to do it and you and you’re not keen on doing it, but in the reality of things, are you going to have to do it and so fake it to your make? It’s something that I’ve used where I’ve thought, Well, you know what?

I’m just going to put on the bravest face. I’m going to prepare as much as humanly possible so that I can relieve some of that anxiety about, you know, stuffing up or getting it wrong. And the more I did that, the more I realized actually that was the that was the element that built the confidence behind what I was doing.

And that preparedness and and having that confidence comes from the preparation in itself. But yeah definitely fake it you make is not about being someone that you’re not. It’s just about being the person that you want to be and you’re trying to be and putting that out there. And then basically through the Law of attraction, just working your way towards that.

And hands down, I’ve been able to do that many, many times over. And yeah, that’s the reality to it.

The Secret to an Effective Networking Event — Preparation

Matthew Pollard: Well, I think that’s a really great point to make. I think we had Jay Papasan on the show and he’s one of the coauthors of the one thing book. And he said the first time he got the opportunity to speak from stage and when he says the word opportunity, he meant the horror of speaking on stage was actually in front of 20,000 people at the Keller Williams conference, and he just got thrown in the deep end.

I can’t remember anything that happened, but what he realized was that he had to put hours of preparation into every hour that he would ever be on the stage. And I think it’s really an interesting thing when we think about the functional skills that a lot of people going out networking have or even the functional skills of anyone that’s in a job has they put so much time into learning that functional skill, whether it be accounting, whether it be management, whether it be, you know, working on data entry, whatever that is.

They spend a long time learning it. Then when it comes to public speaking, when it comes to networking, they just go and do it. And then of course, it doesn’t feel comfortable. I imagine if they weren’t comfortable doing bookkeeping for the first time and they’re a bookkeeper, that’s what study is for and preparation. Yet in these skill sets in our head, we tell ourselves we have to have it or we don’t.

So you’ve really opened up a networking event that must have meant that you had to go from I don’t like networking, I don’t feel comfortable networking to doing preparation, to eventually turning that preparation into helping other people prepare so that they could then follow a structure in a networking event. So before we get into structuring the networking event, I want you to take me back to your process.

Meaningful Connections and Referrals

When it came to you initially looking at networking itself because you had to do it as a career professional, as a business owner, well before you started a networking event. So take me through that. How you went through the I don’t want to do this. It terrifies me to here’s the preparation of what that look like to now feeling comfortable in the act of networking.

Matthew Alderton: Totally. Well, I realized really on in business that most of my new clients were coming from referrals. And so when I unpacked that, I thought, well, how can I get more referrals? What will be the process of getting more referrals? And through my research and talking to people, I’ve realized that the greatest opportunity to get more referrals was through networking, which was not a very fun finding that I found because it meant that I had to.

If I wanted to be successful and get more referrals, I’d have to go out and do some networking. So you can imagine I’m like, Well, what other options are there? And really that’s the strongest and highest ROI activity I could have done around referrals was going to be through networking. So then I did a whole bunch of research and I looked up and I and I realized that being prepared for a networking event was going to help me reduce some of that anxiety.

But I soon realized I was going to have to talk in front of people and do all that sort of stuff as well. And so that, you know, organizing myself and getting myself along to events. And really at the end of the day, I think the more that I went along to, the more relaxed I got. But you can imagine, like still, you know, if you got to stand up and you got to present about your business, if you’re prepared, it’s a lot easier than if you just get up and wing it in front of a whole bunch of people.

And so I soon learned that preparing even that 42nd or 62nd presentation that you do at a networking event, the more organized we are with that, the better the results we’re going to get, the more comfortable where we are going to be when we actually do present that, the more people are going to be genuinely interested. And so I went from doing networking to build my businesses to realizing that all the networking I was doing and who I was pitching for and who I was being educated to pitch for and who I was for, the research and education from the the networking groups that I was going for, everyone was pitching for an end client.

And so I thought I was going to be getting direct referrals as a first instance. But then I realized that what was missing is we were still kind of selling to each other. We’re still kind of looking for each other to refer directly, and it just wasn’t as organic and as fast and as exponential as I was hoping it was going to be.

And it was through that sort of evolution that I learned that there’s actually no networking out here that’s really tapping into the opportunity of referral partnerships. And I know, Matthew, in your book that I’ve read, it’s you talk about momentum partnerships. And so one of the same thing and it just means tapping into that other business type, other business out there that has all the same types of clients that you’ve got in your business.

And connecting with that business are not. I mean, you can refer to each other your own clients. It’s, it’s, it seemed to be so obvious. Yeah, I couldn’t find it anywhere. And the more I did and the more events that I ran for my businesses, because we often had events as part of our sales pipeline for Paychex, which we did with our events and education and stuff like that, everyone more and more networking.

So now my networking was feeding into me, doing more networking and my clients were saying, Hey, we need more networking. And that’s how I ended up owning a networking organization because I was basically just feeding a hungry crowd. All my customers and clients were saying the same thing as what I was saying. Hey, there’s nothing out here that really does what we need it to do from a networking perspective.

And that’s that’s how it all came to being. But it’s funny, isn’t it? Because I think to myself on a regular basis, I don’t know how I continue doing what I’m doing and still do what I do, given that there’s that, you know, trepidation and trust me, it never goes away completely. You still stand up in front of a room of people, and if it’s a strike like you stand up in front of a strange room, you still get that feeling.

But then if you’re prepared and you’re organized, then it doesn’t show to the people that you’re presenting to. It’s more of a feeling that you’ve got than what’s being perceived from the outside.

Matthew Pollard: Absolutely. And I’m glad you shared that. And actually, I want to focus on that just for a second. Before we come back to talking about momentum partnerships and champion relationships, which is, you know, my hot buttons, because I personally believe that if we’re out networking, do you want to buy for me? Do you want to buy from me?

What about you? What about you? Firstly, it doesn’t feel very congruent for an introvert, but secondly, it’s not going to get them out of that hamster wheel of struggling to find interested people trying to set themselves apart from the sale. We all know that if we’re doing that, it’s also going to come down to price a lot of the time, which is the last thing that we want to do.

Now. Of course, there are strategies to combat that, such as identify common interests. However, the best way to combat it is to not start with an introduction. Sorry to start with an introduction, as opposed to going in and just trying to close a deal with every person you meet, which also feels totally uncomfortable. But let’s talk about this energy thing for a second, because I’ve seen you behind the scenes quite frequently, and I know for a fact that you put a ton of energy into running, but to run into a whole bunch of different events and activities and leadership meetings and things like that.

But I’ve seen you in the cameras off, or I should say, when the record button is off, and it’s like all of a sudden you hit a wall and you’re exhausted and a lot of times you’ll say, I need to switch off, I need to have some downtime. So let’s talk a minute about that, because one of my assertions always is that introversion, the real version of introversion, is where you draw your energy from.

It’s that you either draw it from being out and doing those activities. I mean, we know we’ve got a close friend or two of this Terri, who’s charged up, who wants to talk to everybody after what, doing one of those events where you’re very, very different, you try it afterwards. What I would love to understand is kind of, well, it’s a two part question.

Managing Your Energy As An Introvert

Firstly, how you manage that level of energy so that you constantly stay on or in your would, if I could, faking it into your making it. And then secondly, how you handle that, that comes down afterwards, how you manage your energy, how you manage your team around those times where you’re a little bit more irritable because you tired told through that process a little bit?

Matthew Alderton: Well, certainly, you know, when you’re running an event or you’re going to a networking event and that whole faking it to you make it and it’s really just drawing on your energy to create that like that, to give yourself the confidence, to be able to do what you need to do. And also there’s an expectation, obviously, when you’re presenting like what usually, Matthew, when you when you’re running events and things like that, people aren’t going to want someone who’s quiet and shy and and inside this shell running an event, they want to draw off your energy.

And I feel that that is what happens a lot of the time, that the energy that you bring to the surface is contagious. People either latch on to that or if there’s a lack of it, then it actually brings down a room. So you’re always giving when you’re presenting. And whether that’s giving and presenting through an introduction to you and your business or whether you’re having a conversation with somebody at a networking event or any kind of event at the end of the day, it’s the energy you bring to the table.

And when you’re an introvert, that energy is something that you’re manifesting and creating because it’s not naturally there. Like with Terry, who’s a how I personality, he brews that stuff like he’s brilliant in his sleep. Whereas where was was storing a different kind of energy and, and the thing is like there’s no, you know, right or wrong, there’s no positive or negative to a different personality.

It’s or a different type of person. Everyone, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and both sides and, and both types of personalities do. And but certainly when you’re not an extrovert and you’re an introvert, you have to draw and manifest that energy and create that energy, which is possible to do. And you like you do it all the time.

I’ve seen you speak and I do it when I’m speaking in and when I’m in a room full of people. But it is, you know, it’s hard work. And and I think it gets a little bit easier the more you do it. But still, you’re drawing on something that’s not naturally there. So the flip side is then when the camera’s off or you get home at the end of an event or or whatever, it’s like someone’s flicked a switch and you could almost collapse.

I remember, you know, we launched our online events in the US a couple of weeks ago and and we run that event. It was like, you know, there was massive full room of people. We were we were cranking. Everyone was, you know, really just bubbly with energy and stuff like that. And and we’re on a Zoom call, so we’re feeding tons more energy into it than we would in a normal face to face, because you’ve got to keep a different kind of energy online.

And I remember when I got to the end of that event, I could almost not drive home from the office. I was so exhausted because of what I was trying to achieve, because I’m trying to give so much energy to other people through the presentation I’m doing and through the connecting that I’m doing. And whether that’s, you know, you say you might think you of all that you’re presenting to, you know, 40 or 50 people.

Sure. But it’s to me it’s exactly the same. If I’m talking to one other person at a networking event, I’m trying to give the same level of energy, the same level of interest that I’m trying to draw on that and manifest that from within myself to create a really great energy with people. When I’m meeting them one on one as well.

So yeah, it’s it is definitely a challenge, but you do need to have that recharge time, otherwise you can’t back up and do it again. That’s for sure.

Matthew Pollard: You know, I think that’s an important message to share with people though. So you are outwardly spoken like an introvert and your team knows that about you. My team knows that about me. They also know that if they call me after speaking in front of a thousand people, I’m going to be I’m not going to say unstable, but just I’m emotionally told I’m at the end of that line where I’m I’m trying to keep my emotions at bay because they’re a little bit more out of control.

So my team know that and they know that I’m going to have to plan for me to have that one outcome down after a keynote so that I can rebuild myself. In an hour from now, I’m back to two charged. How do you educate your team so that they understand what’s going on so that they don’t take anything perhaps personally, or that so that, you know, do you have a strategy so that you don’t have to use that as an excuse?

What what do you do there?

Matthew Alderton: We’re very process driven in our organization, So we use calendars as a as a first rule. So people, you know, know when they to call or contact or, you know, when is an appropriate time to get in contact. So we block out time and they know when that certain time is for certain things. But the team also know that, you know, when we’re running a big event that we’re going to have to be, you know, all drawing on that energy and really, you know, putting on a first class show.

And that’s that’s our aim for all of our clients and guests and anybody that interacts with us. But they also know with me that like when you’re the front of that show and you’re putting on that effort, you need to have that recharge time. And so it is certainly something you need to have that conversation with you people around you, but even back at home as well.

So my my wife and my kids, they know that, you know, dad’s going to come home, He’s going to be mentally and physically drained. And so they’ve really good at supporting that as well. And it’s important for to have that unit around you that understands what you need to be able to do that, because it is it’s really it is a very draining exercise and when you’re in the moment, you it all seems fine.

But when you step away, it’s like all of a sudden you’ve lost every inch of energy that you possibly had. It’s it’s quite interesting, isn’t it?

Online Networking vs. In-Person Events — Energy Differences

Matthew Pollard: Well, so I think that’s really great advice. And I think that the main message I’m hearing is make sure your staff are aware and also make sure your family is aware because you’re 100% right. There are times that I come and it was weird when I started doing virtual events and virtual keynotes as opposed to going to a location.

My wife got to see me within the hour of finishing that keynote as opposed to the next day when I got home. And because of that, you know, I had to, you know, Netflix night. I didn’t you know, I had to have my own space afterwards, not because I don’t love my wife, but because I wasn’t ready to communicate and talk.

And she understood that. So she you know, I’m not going to say she baby stepped around me, but she understood and empathize with that was what I was doing that I didn’t want to talk for that hour, not because I didn’t like her at that time, but because I needed to be by myself, be in my own space, be my own head for a little while to to to recharge.

So it’s so important that that introverted, that. And the other thing I want you to hear, though, is that if Matt can go out and network and go to events every single day and manage his energy accordingly, everyone here really has no excuse. If you only have to do it once a week, once every two weeks, it’s totally worth it to have the rapid growth business that you love that revolves around you, your family and your life, not the other way around.

Fostering Deeper Connections

But to do that, I do not want you focusing on transactional relationships, which is actually how Matt and I met. You know, I was I just was in the process of writing my book, The Introverts Edge to Networking, and I started to talk about it. If networking was all about transactional relationships, I would never have got out of that hands to wheel myself.

And I talked about momentum partnerships, about people that you can joint venture with that they are doing business with the same type of clients as you are, so you can support each other. The people that I talk about making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from one momentum partner that just introduced me to all the podcasts that she’d been on.

And I did the same for her, not because we had a deal where we signed off on it, but because we agreed that it was mission sorry, because we unspoken, we agreed that it was mutually beneficial to each other and we believed in what each other would doing. And then my business literally exploded because of the champions that endorse my work constantly.

People like Marshall Goldsmith, Michael Gerber, that are constantly telling the world that my work is worthy of people paying potentially a lot higher prices for it. And it was actually funny. I was doing a virtual presentation for a group in Australia called Business Blueprint, and the founder Dale, said, You know, I know this guy. I actually just invested in his business because I really believe in joint venture relationships as well.

And it’s like outside a few synonyms, it’s almost the exact same thing. So that’s how I met Matt and that’s why I was like, We need to bring this to the United States. We need to bring it globally. And that’s why I’m such a heavy ambassador of this ideology. And before we get into explaining why this is so important as a different version of networking for introverts, I really want to take a second to talk about the difference in the metrics that you talk about are often the values that a joint venture partner or what I would consider a partial momentum partner has on the hour line.

Long term for business compared to a transactional deal. Would you like to share a little bit about that?

Networking Abilities Beyond the Sale

Matthew Alderton: Yeah, well, certainly transactional deals are mostly one off opportunities. Sometimes you get customers repeat purchases, but that next level up and I kind of describe it when I’m talking to our members as it being like an upside down triangle. If you’re going for the transaction, it’s the bottom pointy part of the triangle and there’s not many opportunities that happen like that.

If you’re looking at the total sales opportunity, if you’re looking for direct referrals from people. So you’re saying, Hey, if you know someone who needs my products and services, let them know. Well, to me that’s an organic thing that just happens anyway. So if you have a relationship with somebody then and they know you and like you and trust you, then they find out someone needs your products and services, of course they’re going to say, Hey, you should speak to Matt about that.

But it’s really the next level up, which is the base of the triangle with it’s flipped and that’s the referral partnerships or the momentum partnerships, and there’s lots of opportunities there. And that’s because your other referral partners have lots of people, clients of theirs that have the need for your products and services. And the beautiful thing about it is they’re doing the selling for you.

You’re not doing any selling and this is and I try and communicate this all the time ad nauseum, that networking and building relationships is there’s no selling involved in that. Absolutely no selling networking. There should be no selling referral partnerships, no selling. Every conversation you have is about what value you can bring, what help you can bring. Somebody.

And when you do that with a referral partner, they’re going to be thinking of you when they’re in front of their clients and prospecting their clients on behalf of you. And the beauty of that is that say you’re a business coach and you’re having a conversation with one of your clients and you’ve got a referral partner who is a digital marketing agency, and you say to your coaching client, you know, so talk to me about what you’re doing from a marketing perspective.

You’re trying to grow your business, which describe me to help you do that as a coach. But talk to me about, you know, what are you doing from a marketing perspective? Do you have, you know, an SEO company that does SEO work for you or you’re doing any AdWords, you’re doing any Facebook advertising? If their answer is a no, no, no, or yes, I had, but they’re terrible, then I go, Well, actually, you know what?

I’m going to introduce you to my good friend Joe Bloggs, who is digital agent, who has a digital agency, and they are amazing and I love them. I send lots of clients that way because they do such a great job. Now I’m going to introduce you. I’m going to send you an introduction to Joe Bloggs, the digital agency, and so I can introduce the via email and then when Joe calls out my client and says, Hi, you know, great to meet you.

And, you know, it’s really nice of Matt to introduce me. I’d love to talk about how he could possibly help you. I’ve already done the selling on behalf of Joe. Joe doesn’t need to sell his products and services. He just needs to talk to the person, find out more about what they do because he knows they need him.

And so that’s how these professional relationships work. It’s amazing because it just creates so many opportunities and so many warm introductions from that to clients that actually need your products and services that have already been sold to by your fellow partners who are doing it in organic, natural way, that have recognized the need, that have recognized that need your products and services, and and vice versa.

You’re doing the same on behalf of your referral partners as well. It’s brilliant. And I don’t know why we haven’t had more opportunities like this, but partnerships just create so many more opportunities. And the thing I love the most about it is that they’re not linked to any membership of any kind. So typically the why lots of networks have worked is that they’ve done it and kept it within the networking group, whereas I love that.

And our whole vision of BX is helping you to build a business for the future of business, of your dreams. And to do that, we want to give you the relationships, connections to people, to build those relationships that stay with you for as long as you nurture those relationships, which could be forever. And that’s what I love.

So we’re helping you build a business for the future, and that’s how you should be trading all of your partnerships for the long term. And you can get just exponential value out of leveraging and working with and supporting a partner like that.

The Real Payoff of Networking Skills

Matthew Pollard: So I think what’s really important for people to understand is that that conversation sounds like you’ve got somebody constantly referring you to people. When you go to a networking event, though, that’s not what you’re looking for. You’re looking to have a dialog with someone that could potentially introduce you to someone like that so you can foster that relationship.

And what’s powerful about that is you’re not trying to sell the person speaking to you, don’t even try to sell to the person that they introduce you to. You’re only looking to get an introduction to someone that you can collaborate with in the future to share a client. And I’ve seen this happen amazingly well. People that have read my book that go my niece, she’s going to be restaurants, I’m in insurance, somebody else’s name, she’s in restaurants, but they’re an accountant.

So now they’re sharing leads because they both are passionate about helping the people in the restaurant space. So all of these relationships can happen so easily if that’s what your focus is, as opposed to can you can you introduce me to someone that I can sell to, which does not work as well, and also means that you’re getting on the phone for really to have a really uncomfortable conversation to somebody that, you know, may or may not want your services as opposed to somebody where the partner is identified.

They have a real need. So they’ve done the introduction. The thing I really love about this is, you know, when I give out introductions, if I’m going to introduce you to someone that you’re going to sell to, I’ve really got to qualify that you’re the person that they’re going to need on the I’ll totally of though for me is that I can introduce you to somebody that I think that you might be a great referral partner with.

You guys can then have a dialog, verify each other’s products, are great before you do it, but on a single introduction, there’s a lot of due diligence that has to go into a single introduction, but then not much for the second, third, fifth, 10th, 100th. So these referral partnerships will momentum Partnerships can last years and generate a ton more income.

So instead of getting a $5,000 deal here, a $30 deal there, instead you’re looking at long term income from a referral partnership. And there’s a whole ton of statistics that highlight that. If you can get five of these relationships and the general estimate is that you can make about 20,000 per referral partner, well, now you make $100,000 a year forever.

As long as you maintain that relationship next year you get five more. The year after that you get five more. And that’s what really allows that business to grow and your prices to grow as demand grows from those introductions. So I want to get into I know you’ve got a special invitation that you want to share with everybody because you’ve you politely offered to to let people enjoy an event, to get some practice doing the development of generating these referral relationships that you know, and I know your events include a ton of training on how to actually foster those, but I really want to ask you one really important question.

Matt Alderton’s Introvert’s Edge

First. I ask it of all of my guests, which is what do you consider your introvert’s edge.

Matthew Alderton: So I guess being an introvert makes you very consciously aware of what your potential limitations are. And so being an introvert, when I reflected on that, I knew that my my challenge was always going to be having conversations with people. And so I just read lots of books. And I’ll tell you what, the one book that made the biggest difference was How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

And truly, I’ve implemented so many strategies out of how to win friends and influence people. I remember I actually read on my honeymoon, and there’s a funny story there about how I was talking to my wife about all the tips and tricks that I was learning in there about, you know, remembering people’s names and learning people’s names. And we put that to practice on our honeymoon at restaurants and stuff like that, and it blows your mind.

And so when you’re aware of what your limitations are potentially as an introvert, and that you tend to hold back and you tend to, you know, stay away from the crowd and and to not step forward and engage. And you realize the opportunity missed by doing that. And so my introverts edge would be that through just learning about what can make me a better connect and connect better with people, I’ve actually become really good at it.

And it’s I don’t think I would have ever done that had I been an introvert because I know a lot of extroverts that are that haven’t taken the time to learn that skill because I feel it’s a natural skill. But when you’re an introvert and you learn about a skill and you implement it, you’re consciously aware of what you’re doing.

So I’m always consciously aware of listening to people and asking questions and and really engaging. And I find that through that conscious act, I connect Why better with people than I think a lot of my extroverted friends do. And so I reckon that’s my introverted edge. Mind your village.

Matthew Pollard: You know what? I’m really ecstatic that you said that, because my whole thesis of all my books is that when you have great process and great planning as an introvert, you hold on to that for dear life. Which is why I believe that introverts out, sell out, network out, laid out, public speak. All of our extroverted counterparts that are just winging things all the time because a plan presentation will always outperform somebody that’s winging it, especially in the long term.

So I’m really ecstatic that you share what I consider one of the most important introverts edges of one that I would suggest that every person listening today can embrace. Because then you get to leverage the amazing abilities you have active listening and empathy that allow you to create that even deeper relationship. Again, skill sets that extroverts can learn, but ones that you possess naturally.

Resources to Help You Network Effectively

So now I want to quickly, because we’re running to the end of this interview, there are a couple of things we need to talk about when it comes to networking for your professional life or small business. Firstly, I’ll say upfront that I personally believe that there is a ton of value in learning how to create these referral relationships, which is why we’re going to interview Matt again for the quietly influential Summit.

So if you want to check out that interview, make sure you go to the quietly influential summit dot com and then you’ll be able to access the free event where you’ll be able to access that interview. Now, on top of that, Matt has been very gracious to provide a educational training for everybody inside Introvert U, which is a micro training on one of our online platforms to help you learn how to be, how to get more comfortable with networking and getting yourself into the networking room.

It’s a perfect complement to my work because it’ll help you understand the steps that you really need to take so that you feel like you’re presenting the best version of yourself in a comfortable and can grow way. So definitely check that out at introvert dot com. However, the one that I’m really excited to share with you today is the invitation to actually put this to work, because as introverts, if we’re learning stuff and we’re not actually applying what we learn or if we like the concept, but we don’t actually take that first step forward, let’s be honest, it’s easy for us to talk ourselves out of it, get ourselves into, you know, information paralysis, where we’re trying to consume too much to get better at something. We’re never actually going to apply. So today our focus is to force you into action, and we’re going to do that with an invite to a networking event. It’s completely free and meant to want to tell people a little bit more about that.

Matthew Alderton: Yeah, so they called our Bx online and we’ve been running them since 2018. We added them to our membership offering to help people connect more globally. And we’ve launched in the U.S. with Epic’s online events just recently in preparation for launching our face to face events across the country and by coming along to Bex online events similar to what we would run in a face to face event, I think they’re actually better for an introvert because you can hide a little bit behind the camera there and you don’t have to feel like you’re in a big room of people.

You can be prepared, you can read your introduction and that to to people off your screen or add on a bit of paper in front of you. So it gives you the ability to put to practice some of the skills that you might have learned through the micro training that I provided all through some of the stuff that you’ve read as well and learned about online.

But the key is they’re they’re really great and they’re a great introduction to networking. You have an opportunity to introduce yourself and your business in a 42nd introduction round. We have a presentation by one of our members at every event that goes for about ten or 15 minutes where they give No, it’s not a salesy thing. It’s an insight into what they do or some educational elements into their area of expertise.

And then we do what I many people write about, which is the 312 ones, and that’s where you get to talk one on one with three other people in three separate one two ones and people rave about it because and I know us introverts will love it because it takes away from that big room of people and puts us into a room with one other person, or we can kind of relax and then have a conversation.

And this short and punchy, so nice and quick you don’t have to worry about How do I drag this out for a long time? Yeah, I’ll ask a couple of questions I’ll ask a couple of questions. You just learn about each other’s business a little bit and see, maybe learn a bit more about connections and and how you can help each other.

And it goes very fast. People always come back, Go. Wow, that time went so fast, but it gives you a bit more of a deep dive than what you typically get at most networking online. But you do this in a face to face meetings as well as the online meeting. So come along and check out one of our complimentary breaks Online events.

Put into practice some of the stuff that you’ve learned today and through the micro training. And I guarantee you walk away going, Wow, like I got something out of that. But it’s great practice. It’s really great practice. And as I said before, you know, preparation, put some prep in place still to learn some of the skills you might need and when you register will send you some resources and templates and stuff like that as well, which can help you prepare because we want you to feel comfortable when you walk in the door or come online so that you’re organized and you’re mentally prepared and you can sit back and relax and they’re fun and they go super fast. So you’ll have lots of fun as well.

Matthew Pollard: Perfect. Matt, thank you for sharing that. And for those people listening. You know, the thing that I loved about this specific event is at the beginning you get to introduce yourself and then say, This is the type of referral partnership that I’m looking for. And that’s key because there are people that are taking note of that and what all the other people do.

So they’re actually in the background crazily matching you up to make sure that that one on one is with someone that could truly benefit your business or could potentially introduce you to someone meaningful. We’ve seen people get introduced to partners where lots of deals take place. We’ve seen people get introduced where they were on a podcast the following week because of that introduction.

So the preparation stuff is great for us introverts, so you can understand the structure. Don’t go in with an expectation to sell, but to create those partnerships or get introduced to people that can create those, introduce you to people that can help create those partnerships for you. And then in those one on ones, you get the opportunity to really share.

Like if you want to put to practice what you’ve learned in the introverts edge, it’s a great opportunity to do that because you can literally grab the strategy in the book and apply them directly to those one on one. So those people are, Oh my gosh, I love that. I’m so passionate about what you’re passionate about. Let me introduce you to these people.

So I really would recommend you check out one of these events. Definitely check out the training in Introvert. You check out what the right type of referral relationship is for you, which we’re going to be talking about in the quietly influential summit. But do not wait to do all of that before you come to this networking event. And what I’m going to suggest to everyone is we’re going to give you two tickets to come to the live or the virtual.

When I say virtual and live, we are actually all we have. By the time you listen to this recording have live events happening in the United States. So because of that, you’ll be able to put to work if it’s a live event. What you’ve learned in a live event or in a virtual event the first time and get a feel of the event and understand what things you need to get better at next time.

See the difference in networking. And then once you’ve consumed the information, you can come to the second one if you like, and put it to work again. So I really would recommend people don’t delay. It’s about ripping off that Band-Aid and doing the thing that we find uncomfortable and realizing it’s not as hard as we think. You know, we’ve got a lot of those steps once we’re following a regimented process which makes networking definitely provides.

So I’m going to put a link to accessing that free event in the show notes. But I also I’m going to give you a short link for those people that are listening to this on their way to work, on their way to see a customer go to matthewpollard.com/bx and you’ll be able to access the tickets or the free tickets, I should say, and register automatically for the event, you know, right away.

And hopefully we’ve got a live event right near you. But if we don’t, then definitely check out the virtual events. I guarantee I love the virtual events because I get to not have to commute there and not have to commute back when I’m exhausted. So it’s a great opportunity. You dedicate the time, you make great use of that and you get back to your day job, right?

So everybody definitely check that out. The website address is matthewpollard.com/bx, but definitely check out the networking website. There’s a ton of great resources there. And for today I just want to thank Matt for for coming on and thank you for your generous offer.

Matthew Alderton: Pleasure. Thanks very much, Matthew.

Matthew Pollard: Thanks everyone and I will see you on the next episode of the Introvert’s Edge podcast.

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