There is a group of people that genuinely enjoys going to places where they don’t know anybody. For them, chatting with new people comes naturally and networking doesn’t feel like working at all. Can’t relate? We advise you to keep reading.

Networking as an introvert isn’t easy. A large group of strangers can be intimidating and the pressure of going home with a deal won’t make things easier. But it can be fun. You just have to know how to do it efficiently. Once you know, you’ll be able to mingle with the rest of them without losing yourself.

Do not focus on getting something out of it, focus on what you have to offer
Going into an event with only your eyes on the price, puts a lot of pressure on yourself. Thinking about what you can give, takes away some of that pressure. Also, you’ll easily miss important connections if you’re too focused on what you can get. Have an open mind.

This doesn’t mean you should go in unprepared
Make a little plan with goals you want to achieve and people that you want to talk to. Without a plan, you’ll end up talking to the people that choose you, instead of the people that have your preference.

Remember, most people in the room feel the same as you
It might be just as scary for them. For you to approach them can be a relief for them as well.

Don’t forget to link
Not all deals have to be made right away. If you’re interested, get someone’s business card. You’ll be able to email or call them at another point.

Keep in mind that humans naturally have the urge to help
If you have an important question, ask it! Someone in the room might know the next customer/employee you need.

Knowing more people increases the likeliness of your product/service being bought
You are the face of your business. Once people know to what product/service you belong to, they are more likely to buy it. Your face makes it personal and trustworthy.

Know that an investment won't be wrapped over a month
The earlier you expand your network, the less pressure you have to fix it. Which makes it easier for you to negotiate.

Do not only look for investors
Talk to people that work in media as well. Podcast presenters, writers or journalists are always on the lookout for interesting people to interview. Make yourself known so they will easily contact you (this can create valuable press opportunities).

Be quiet
Listen more than you talk, but keep asking questions. Mostly because when you’re talking you’re not collecting new information (but also because people just love to talk about themselves).

If possible, grab a bite
Most deals get closed over dinner. (If you offer to pay at least)

In the words of the almighty Snow Patrol: ‘just say yes'
Even if it is not what you’re looking for at the moment. Helping someone can lead to a fruitful relationship for the future. (Plus, they owe you one)

And last but not least: practice makes perfect
Don’t be too hard on yourself and expect all of the above to instantly go smooth. Give yourself enough time and space, and you will be great. We promise.