Business achievement often comes down to focusing on your strengths, while working to improve your weaknesses. If you happen to be more shy or introverted than the typical charismatic entrepreneur, don’t worry! Whether you enjoy it or not, networking is vital to the success of your independent pharmacy and with a little practice and preparation, you can become a networking guru. If you’re nervous about an upcoming conference, lunch meeting or party, experiment with these tips.
Manage Your Expectations
Rather than approaching your next social event with fear, manage your expectations by planning ahead. Before heading to the main event, establish reasonable goals. For example, you may determine to meet ten new people and distribute five of your own business cards. Remember that one high-quality conversation is more beneficial than twenty brief introductions.
Practice Your Introduction
Shy people have a more difficult time starting conversations with strangers, but a small amount of preparation can make a big difference. Develop a memorable introduction, also known as an elevator speech, to describe who you are and why your pharmacy is special. You may also want to prepare a few questions you can use as conversation starters. Research the event to find out who will be there and what their interests are, so you will be prepared to discuss relevant topics.
Set a Time Limit
If you are especially nervous about a particular event, plan to stay for a short time only. Instead of planning to stay for the duration, start small by committing to one hour. Showing up is the first step. You may surprise yourself by decidingto stay longer.
Networking is a skill that improves with experience. Even an extrovert can be slightly nervous when testing out a newly crafted elevator speech. The more you network, the easier it gets, so get started now and practice often.
Introverts draw energy from being alone, so taking breaks can help immensely. Next time you feel drained at an industry event, return to your hotel room, go for a walk outside or find a quiet spot in the lobby to decompress. No matter what, do not let a fear of networking hold you back. For introverts and extroverts alike, the advantages of networking far outweigh the risks.
Every year, pharmacy owners of every kind attend the industry’s main event and report that it’s the most valuable thing they do for their business all year long. Don’t miss the opportunity to network and learn from America’s best pharmacy owners at the Independent Pharmacy Together Toward Tomorrow Conference. Tickets are now available.