Anti-Networking and Anti-Marketing for introvert

Let me make a confession: I hate networking and selling!

And yet, I’ve developed an international network and sold millions of euros worth of products over the last decade…

Here’s what I’ve learned as an introvert about the art of having an approach and influence strategies that don‘t take up energy and allow you to be yourself and, above all, build real relationships far from the “fake” and networking by interest.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been taking part in several events in Barcelona, Bordeaux, Paris… Here’s what might help you if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like “networking evenings” or exposing yourself on the networks.

Let me reassure you, I don’t like handing out business cards, talking to everyone and even less like prospecting to “force” relationships.

Are you already titillated by the very word “networks”? Read on… 😂

🤝 The anti-networking and anti-marketing guide

Old-fashioned influence is dead:

  • Pitch after pitch to hand out business cards that no one will take back
  • Forcing yourself to make referrals because you’ve paid for a business network
  • Not really interested in others

Now it’s better to focus on authenticity, lasting relationships and really bringing value to others:

Heading for “networks” that share our values

The first step, which for me is essential, is to feel at ease! That’s why I prefer to go to events where I appreciate the energy, spirit and values of the organizer (who will also attract this type of person).

Too often in the past, I’ve taken part in events where I didn’t feel at ease because I was completely misaligned with the atmosphere, the people and the mentality.

  • What do you expect from this event?
  • What values are you looking for?
  • What kind of people would you like to meet?

Ask yourself these questions beforehand… You’ll feel much more at ease when you get there!

The best starting intention

I don’t go there to find customers, partnerships, referrals or anything else…

I go there to have a good time and let people bond naturally!

In my experience, I prefer to talk to fewer people but build stronger bonds and take the time to let relationships develop.

Going there without any specific expectations, just with the intention of having a good time and being open to what might happen, takes the pressure off.

Besides, as an introvert, I give myself permission to leave if I’m not feeling well or starting to tire of too many interactions.

The art of conversation (to facilitate meetings if you don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers)

I know, I know… It’s hard to approach strangers like that, but I’ve got a trick:

Let them come to me!

Already, I’m interacting with the first people with whom this can be done, especially the first people I come across.

I’d also recommend arriving earlier, when it’s less crowded, to avoid the effect of being faced with a room full of bands already talking to each other.

It’s also a good idea to make “allies”, especially those who know more people, and even the organizers, so that they can introduce you.

But above all, be cool, relaxed, don’t forget that not everyone is comfortable and that it’s okay! There’s no good way to open a conversation other than to have a positive, open attitude.

Ask questions, be curious and show real signs of active listening.

My trick is that I feel I can learn from everyone, about their background, their projects, their way of thinking, so I take a real interest.

What to say to “What do you do for a living?”

Multipotential friends, here’s the question we don’t like, but will inevitably have to face!

My universal tip?

Say that I wear many hats and adapt to the person in front of me. And if it’s a group, I talk about the problems I solve and the benefits, and come and talk to me if you’re interested.

I’m often transparent about this multipotential side and the difficulty of explaining everything I do, which opens up a lot of curiosity and fun.

Frankly, doing it in a relaxed way, laughing about it and creating curiosity is the best way to open up a conversation.

And After ? What about the Follow-Ups? Contacts? Business cards?

Well… For me, business cards and old-fashioned reminders are a boomer thing 😂!

The cards I’m given always end up in the black hole that is my pocket… I lose them!

In 2024, it’s all about exchanging direct contact: QR Code, contact details in the phone, networking on Linkedin… It’s simpler!

I can add a little note on my phone about the person’s expertise, and if there’s another point to be made, we’ll make an appointment right away, on the spot… or we’ll leave it for later! That’s the way I work.

Sometimes we see each other several times before the connection is made, other times it’s done quickly, I prefer the naturalness, the fluidity!

By the way, the more people you meet, the “easier” it will be at local events as you’ll be able to find and cross paths with them 🙂

Most importantly:

Be cool, relaxed and try to have a good time without feeling “weird”! You’ll find that the majority of people are friendly, and that the above tips work.

What does this have to do with marketing?

In marketing, it’s the same philosophy:

Adopt a permission marketing approach, as democratized by Seth Godin.

This is also known as inbound marketing.

That’s what I’ve been developing since 2008: creating content, having a presence, and getting customers to come to me!

Similarly, in sales, the idea is not to “pitch” but to have a conversation (ask the right questions) and create a natural relationship of trust.

Take care of yourself, be yourself,


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