The Introvert’s Edge to Networking
Work the Room. Leverage Social Media. Develop Powerful Connections
by Matthew Pollard
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Pub Date 19 Jan 2021 | Archive Date Not set
Introverts across the world have been sold a lie: you don’t have to have the “gift of gab” to become a master networker. The secret to networking, as an introvert, is not pushing yourself to behave more extroverted, but instead embracing who you really are and the power of a step-by-step strategy, one designed to channel your natural strengths.
The first book of the series centered on an introvert’s strengths in sales and provided a systematic process for outselling even the most successful extrovert. It succeeded in receiving overwhelming support from the publishing and sales community, not to mention over one thousand positive readers/listeners reviews.
The Introvert’s Edge to Networking is part two of that series and takes the same winning formula to creating powerful connections. It confronts the stigma around introverts succeeding in this “so called” extrovert arena and provides a tried and proven process for success. It also backs everything up with real introverted client success stories that, through the help of Matthew’s introverted method, have networked their way to new heights in their careers, businesses and personal lives.
Matthew’s humble beginnings, the adversities that he faced, and his epic rise to success, combined with similar stories of his clients, will leave readers inspired. More than that, they’ll believe that success in networking is truly within their reach and know exactly how to make it happen for themselves.
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Average rating from 41 members
Networking has a reputation as being something that only extroverts excel at. This book seeks to set the record straight and show that introverts are more than capable of being master networkers without making significant changes to their personality.
Through a strict, step-by-step strategy, the author sets out to help the introverted reader channel their natural strengths and master the art of networking in an intelligent, focussed manner. It is backed up with a lot of personal and client stories to hopefully reassure the reader that networking success is really within their reach with a bit of effort and strategic work.
To an introvert they would rather get a root canal than go to a networking event, states the author, noting that if one is minded to push to do it at all, networking is like torture – being not what one got into their chosen profession to do. Perhaps the fault is with networking itself, or at least how it is often carried out? The author says that networking ‘as most people do it today, feels more like door-to-door sales, walking from person to person with a focus on selling as much as possible, as quickly as possible. Creating a meaningful, lasting relationship comes in as a distant second, if at all.’
It gets you thinking, doesn’t it? The author states that introverts need a smarter approach that leverages their strengths, with introverts having a natural edge to the way he believes networking should be really be done. What is the key takeaway? It is a matter of ‘not playing a numbers game and talking to as many people as possible but by being strategic, being prepared, practicing, and knowing how to cultivate deeper relationships with just a few of exactly the right people in the room.’
Even if you believe you are not ready to network or have no immediate need to do so, this book has a lot of interesting information about how to identify your strong points which can be easily used in other situations too.
Adding value to networking interactions is a crucial attribute to success, it is stated, with story-rich presentations and situations being a vital facet, opening up conversations and opportunities along the way. The good thing with stories is that they can be told and re-told, allowing the shy introvert to practice their ‘pitch’ and have a ‘script’ to cling to when sailing in unfamiliar or perceived uncomfortable waters. Establishing a unified message is also recommended, being a way of getting a prospect to ask more information and act as a way to telling your engaging story. Following up contacts is also important, and often overlooked, states the author, likening networking without follow-up to a farmer neglecting to tend to their crops. By ignoring a follow-up, you risk missing out on your biggest-yielding prospects and key relationships.
The book is easy to read and follow thanks to its narrative style. It can feel a little too lengthy at times, but repetition can often help reinforce learning, and it remains an engaging, informative read in any case. The reader may feel that the approach given is challenging and arduous, but it appears to be easy to implement if you just follow the guidance, put your toe tentatively in the water and go with the flow. The author states that he wants the introverted reader to create a networking system that they can control, predict, rely upon and latterly improve.
The author delivers the tools, and it is now up to the reader to implement and take benefit from their undoubted hard work.
I want to first thank you for reaching out to me and providing me with such a great resource! Your books have always provided a simple system for anyone to find success in their business venture. I have been raving about this book all over my lives on YouTube and will be doing an official book review on my Discover Ignite channel.
Thank you again for allowing me to be one of the first. Always providing great value!
One of the best books I came across on pragmatic approaches to networking. Recommended
Thank you NetGalley for letting me read the book before release.
I really enjoyed this book. I was expecting something much different. A say this and then you can say this type of scripting. But it’s not that at all. I have also discovered that I am more of an extrovert than I originally anticipated. I do a lot of the tactics that he recommended. I would recommend this book to my peers who are afraid of speaking in a room and “network”. It gives some good tips and pointers for being prepared for that type of event.
I was given an ecopy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thanks to Netgalley and Harpercollins for the opportunity. This book caught my eye because it addresses what I see as a professional weakness that I have as an introvert. The author clearly has found his niche in life, and lays out practical advice on how to alleviate these weaknesses. While business owners will find the most use out of the techniques introduced here, anyone looking to network and brand themselves will be well served by reading through these anecdotes and how-tos. For an introvert, having a step by step recipe to follow is extremely useful. The central piece of advice, which he admits will be painful for an introvert, does involve a few phone calls, but only a few, and the author even lays out a script for those. While I cringe at thinking about making those calls, the argument is well presented by his evidence that the benefits will be well worth it. In terms of business books, I recommend this highly to anyone who has felt awkward during networking time at a conference or at a social event. It lays out the formulas that successful networkers use-so what looks like wizardry that only an extrovert can pull off actually seems achievable with this guidance and enough practice. I did not know who the author was going into this-although he has had great success in life and has written in this specific niche before. This is well worth your time for anyone who wants to level up their social game as an introvert.
People approach networking differently. I, personally, won't come and talk to a stranger just with a goal to network. I would not bother anyone if I don't have a specific goal or any idea to share with that person. And I expect the same approach to me. Typical introvert :) I have also friends who will go and talk to as many strangers as power at any given event and that is fun for them. It did take me many years to network and it is indeed a good thing to do. This book will guide you how and will be very useful if you are like me :)
A fascinating book, full of real life stories of people who the author taught to network in a way that was suitable for introverts. He also gives plenty of instruction on this, as well as illustrating the material with stories. The history of how we network is a fascinating topic as well, in that people used to know everyone in a small community, and it was bound to lead to disaster if the local businesses sold inferior products the way that churn and burn salesmen did. A deeper, more authentic relationship was required from local people. There is a great deal to recommend this book, and I do recommend it wholehearedly.
I received an electronic ARC of this book via Netgalley for an honest review.
This book does, at its core, have some useful advice that I hope to work into my life. That said, it could have taught its lesson in a fraction of its length--and in my opinion, at least, would have been stronger for it. Most of the book's advice centers around identifying your professional passion, identifying a niche audience for it, and then--in essence--crafting a clear mission statement and using that when you meet people.
The biggest issue I had with this book was that, despite being an introvert who struggles with the idea of networking, I spent most of the book feeling like the target audience was a person I both am not and have no desire to be. A considerable portion of the text seems to be aimed at a hypothetical reader who is already either a small business owner or else very successful in their field of passion, working in a capacity that specifically involves sales to wealthy clients. As a government employee whose interests (if not actual employment) are more in public history and cultural resource management, it's a bit of a leap for me to try to apply a lot of this to my own life and career goals.
While the stories that Pollard tells throughout the book do illustrate the method he suggests using to network, they often serve to bulk up the length of the book without adding much substance. The various ways in which he has dazzled everyone he meets (as long as they're affluent, powerful, and/or own a business that caters to the affluent and powerful) is not particularly interesting to me, but I suppose it might have more appeal to someone who really sees themselves in the "business world" or aspires to entrepreneurship.
All that being said, many of Pollard's points doubtlessly are good advice for anyone. Convey your passions clearly and succinctly, be an engaging storyteller, don't try to be everything to everyone but instead be very good at what you are and do. In the end, what I got out of it is that the principles that apply to writing good interpretive signs and exhibit labels probably apply to telling people about yourself, too (though of course Pollard never puts it in those terms--he's "The Rapid Growth Guy," not a cultural resource management/interpretation/public history guy).
I really value this book. If you've been in business for yourself you will have been to a networking event at some point. Often you'll end up feeling it's a futile exercise because of the WAY you network. It doesn't have to be a numbers game with your job description stripped down to its function: I'm an accountant; I'm a copywriter etc
Well, if you just buy this book for :
a) learning what a UM is - this is truly useful and mine is I am an Ingenuity Engineer
b) the advice on pre-preparation and how to treat people once you have initiated a relationship
It's really valuable advice and will help introverts bring the best version of themselves to moving forward.
I loved Matthew Pollard's 1st book The Introvert's Edge and was thrilled to read his new book about networking.
Not only is the book engaging with real life stories in every chapter but Pollard breaks down everything you need to be a successful in networking.
This is not a book to read once, shelve and go on to the next. You'll want to keep this book on your desk and refer to it often. The outline of what to say is gold and will help you in any niche you are in.
Go get the book and practice the outline until it's as natural coming out of your mouth as your address and phone number!
I highly recommend this book!
This is a little different that my usual self-help review, but there's a reason I was drawn to this book to review. First of all, my mission is to review books that will help therapists, either with their own business/self-improvement, or with their clientele. I've found that a LOT of us therapists are introverts, and as introverts and helper types, we are often terrible at being business owners.
When I first started my private practice and was trying to build a healthy fee-for-service clientele, I used to go to networking events a lot - BNI (business networking international), chamber of commerce mixers, and what have you. I always found it awkward, not only because I'm an introvert, but also because of the nature of our business. I don't know if you have noticed, but say "I'm a therapist" in a crowd, and no one says another word, just drifts awkwardly away to some OTHER conversation. Like it or not, there is still a stigma around therapy, or a fear of getting "analyzed" or whatever.
My solution to this is a solution that Pollard goes into great detail about in this book. Specialize, find your niche, and find a way to say what you do WITHOUT saying "I'm a therapist". I've never come up with a clever two word title like Pollard suggests (if I did, I might be the Marriage Maven?), but I created a one liner that expressed my niche without using the word therapist or counselor. I used to say "I help couples in distress save their marriages from divorce court". I developed a worksheet for my Therapist Marketing talks that help people find a niche line like this. But I also really love the idea of finding a two word description that prompts people to ask "What's THAT?"
I also really love Pollard's advice to "be a giver", and give people something of value instead of just trying to sell them on your service. Especially as a therapist, people don't want you trying to convince them they need therapy (in public no less!) or diagnosing them at a networking event! But almost everyone could use your "5 tips for couples in distress" or "2 things you can do anytime when you're anxious" type of information.
Pollard's system is a system I think could work for a lot of introvert therapist-types. If you are trying to convince people to pay you upwards of $150 per hour out of pocket when they could possibly use their insurance instead, you're not going to sell them using logic. You're going to sell them on it by Pollard's mantra: Success doesn’t come from being everything to everyone but being the only logical choice to a select few.
This book will be out on January 19, 2021 and is available for pre-orders now.
I found Matthew Pollard's first book, The Introvert's Edge, at a bookstore last year and was amazed that someone "got" me. Most people assume I'm an extrovert because I am very involved with business organizations and even lead two monthly networking groups. The truth is that when it comes to talking about and representing myself in a group, I stumble because of my true introverted nature. I've always been better in a one-on-one situation than in groups. Yet, I network consistently and have grown my graphic design/print reseller business this way over the past 21 years. I knew there should be a formula to help me take my business to the next level and that's where this book will help my effectiveness.
I was elated to have been chosen to pre-read and review Matthew's second book, The Introvert's Edge to Networking because this is where I need the most help. Matthew's low-key, no-nonsense tips give a wealth of practical advice that begins long before stepping into any networking meeting. By doing preparation before entering a meeting, Matthew shows, by both illustration and example, that introvert's can have a solid lead over extroverts in the way they both present themselves to, and are perceived by, their contacts.
What makes this book such a beneficial tool in our networking arsenals are both the advice on how to reflect on our strengths and stories and introduce ourselves to others and the real-life examples from Matthew's own story in addition to the stories of those he has helped. Those who are willing to do the preparation ahead of time should succeed brilliantly and increase their sales many times over. The advantages that come from reimagining your presentation and using the strategies outlined in this book cannot be disputed. I'm looking forward to implementing much of what I have learned in Matthew's book to my own business.
This book removes the myth of introversion and gives introverts a powerful strength to use introversion to their advantage for their career and in marketing. It offers stories of introverts with examples and what they did to work for them. As an introvert, I have struggled with the marketing aspect and putting myself out there. Deeply thorough, with many steps to apply to any type of business. I’m an author, and while afraid this would focus more on corporate type of businesses or business meetings, it did not. It applies to any type of marketing in any field. It also talks about finding your niche and is not just about being a business owner. It can help introverts in any career, any relationship, and in life in general. So much good info in this book, definitely one to savor and keep absorbing for years to come. A go-to book, a book for my keeper shelf. Highly recommended.
I like how the author is showing networking as a lifestyle instead of a bunch of events. Do believe however, one must make sure your UM (Unified Message) and your name are linked. Remember story of a lady who became known as “Pink House Lady” but no one knew her actual name.
As an introvert who has had an aversion to selling for a long time, Matthew Pollard.’s book has given me a new lease on on life off my company’s sales, marketing and growth strategies.
It’s always been a default of mine to get someone else to sell our services for us and yet through Pollard’s simple yet powerful strategies I realised that selling was the wrong word and that stories and positioning was the way.
Practical and playing to my strengths is something that I really appreciated from this book. No more pretending, no more hiding. This introvert is ready for action!
We are lucky now that there are several books about introverts in the business world. There are even several books that focus specifically on networking for introverts. Even a few years ago, I think many would say these things are antithetical. But Matthew Pollard explodes that idea and the very conception of networking itself in his book. In this brave, new, complex and often virtual world in which we find ourselves, Pollard shows us that scattershot, on-the-fly networking is a thing of the past. In the course of showing how introverts can use our superpowers to become ace networkers, he makes a good case that anyone and everyone should use organizational strategies and practices to build and maximize their networks. As an introvert myself, though, one of the things I loved about Pollard's book was that his enthusiasm came through. While he related his strategies and stories of using his quiet skills to build business connections, he never seemed like a wallflower. Rather, the strategies were bold, confident, and powerful. In other words, Pollard's way of approaching networking, not only invites the reader to rethink networking but also to reconsider introversion. Introversion, according to Pollard is not a limitation, but a gift. As experts of ourselves, introverts are uniquely positioned to show the business world just what we have to offer as long as we develop practices and strategies that work for us. Pollard has very practical advise to offer introverts developed from years of experience, but the inspiration and validation I got from reading it was even more powerful.
What I found dominating this book was stories. Stories about this person, or that person, set up to help the author persuade, but ultimately stood in the way of networking. I would rather have the information, pure and simply delivered, than a roundabout description just taking up space on a page.
The Introverts Edge to Networking is a thoroughly engaging and captivating read. I struggled to keep to my promise of only reading 1 hour a day; my system is to read, reflect and absorb new ideas.
The sales process (interwoven to networking) presented in the book is not unique – anchored in a time proven method that all sales professional employ. What is unique is the customization for introverts. Matthew has taken his personal insight and blended it with feedback from others to create a networking system you can understand (background science explained), trust (relatable true life example stories) and deploy (step-by-step) with confidence.
Overall a great book that will benefit many. I rated 4 stars because of a few improvement suggestions:
(a) I like to see graphics and tables to help me summarize wordy descriptions. So, perhaps a flow chart or a checklist table here and there Matthew.
(b) Knowing most introverts, you’ll put this book aside once read. You really need to get a buddy to hold you accountable, to following through with the networking system Matthew has created for you. A script of how to approach such a conversation with a buddy might prove useful… I’ve yet to check out the Bonus material, so perhaps this has been considered already and you can find it there.
Good luck and enjoy the journey!
As a freelance writer and historian who doesn't have a traditional corporate structure to help with networking and mentoring, I'm always looking for tips and tricks to make the sometimes-awkward process of meeting new business contacts more pleasant. Since I'm an introvert, this book felt like it was written just for me. Matthew Pollard's focus on the ways that introversion actually helps with networking felt like a refreshing take on the topic.
As an introvert this book was really helpful and I will definately try some of these things because I really don't like networking even though I know and appreciate the importance of it. I'm really trying to change my mindset as to what networking really is and this so far has taken some of the fear out of it. I really appreciate this book and I'll refer to it again.
Thanks to NetGally for the advanced copy of this book and for allowing me to provide my honest review.
Networking: the plot of every introverted business person’s horror movie, am I right? Well, what if it didn’t have to be? What if we - the introverts of the world - could use our innate skills to network naturally and leave an event with a smile instead of a cringe? We can. Absolutely. In fact, thanks to this book, I am starting to see my introversion as a strength where it has been historically perceived as a weakness.
Turns out, some of those natural abilities that help define me as an introvert are some of the best networking skills available. Matthew Pollard’s book, The Introvert’s Edge to Networking not only showed me how to see this as reality, it also showed me how to use them to my advantage.
Matthew discusses one simple trick: being prepared. The depth to which he clarifies his methodology and how he got to it is wonderful and illuminating. A number of tips and tricks are elucidated for us to take, modify, or discard as appropriate.
It’s not like he’s reinvented the wheel or achieved Networking Enlightenment (well, maybe he has, but that’s another story). Matthew has simply seen what is in front of us and packaged it in a lovely little present for us to open. He provides stories, suggestions, thoughts, inspiration, templates. There is woo-woo stuff and full-stop logical stuff. Bottom line, the way Matthew presents his information works for all sorts of people, probably even those weird extraverts. ;)
Perhaps the biggest thing I have gotten out of Matthew’s books is comfort with my introversion, especially in marketing and networking. Even though they are about all I’ve ever known, it turns out that ‘Spray & Pray’ and ‘If you Build it They will Come’ are not valid marketing strategies. Who’da thunk it?
Matthew GETS introverts because he is one of us. He shows us we can all get where we want to go. We just have to play to our strengths and not try to force our square selves into round holes.
If you, like me, are an introvert who has always struggled with networking but has to do it to live your best life, this book is worth a read. I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for this review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Great book.
I had the chance to read Matthew Pollard’s second book, The Introvert’s Edge to Networking. The book comes out in a few weeks and follows up his previous book called The Introvert’s Edge. As you’re probably picking up, these books are written by an introvert for those of us who are introverted.
In case this term is unfamiliar to you, I’d generally define introverts as people who draw energy from being alone and spend energy from being with people. By contrast, extroverts draw energy from being with people and spend energy being alone. Most of us enjoy being with people and being alone, but the defining characteristic is how it affects your energy levels.
Like his first book, this one is loaded with practical insights for how to leverage the best of your wiring. By far, the most helpful insight for me from this book was to prepare an answer to one of the most common questions asked when we meet new people: “What do you do for a living?”
Normally, we give a one-word answer. I’m a pastor, a realtor, a salesman, a teacher, an accountant, etc. The problem with these as answers—especially if you’re an introvert—is that it rarely leaves the other person wanting more. They put you into a box of other people they’ve met with that same profession and the conversation usually dies off from there (especially if they have bad examples of your profession, which has often been my experience).
As he explains in the book: “To truly succeed in strategic networking, you can’t bend yourself to what others want, or even what you mean to sell… Everything you do has to be authentic to who you are as a person and a professional.”
As a result, Pollard explains how you need to come up with something they’ve never heard of before and which will prompt them to ask you to explain it. As an introvert, this helps you guide a conversation without needing to come up with small talk (which we are not good at, to begin with).
This was especially timely for me as I was already wondering what to call myself these days. After a bit of thought… I came up with my new title. I’m the Wine Pastor. This gives people enough context since they are likely familiar with wine and also familiar with what a pastor does, but most people have never seen the two put together like this (I hadn’t either). That gives me a chance to tell them more about what I’m passionate about and we can see where the conversation goes from there.
And that’s just one of the steps the book encourages. If you are introverted, I’d encourage you to give it a read and see how it allows you to be more intentional and even excited to meet people you don’t already know.
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