JUST DO IT!....
Yes, you are talking to a really big weanie here.....really.
People meet grown up Janet and they think she is this cool cucumber who has her act together. I stand before groups and manage to open my mouth and speak and words come out and usually they even make sense. They make enough sense that people ask me back repeatedly because they think I actually know something...like I'm an expert or something....OMG...if they only knew the real me. Does this sound familiar? Do you suffer from terminal shyness too?
Going to parties and mixers and networking events is not exactly my cup of tea. I'm more the stay at home kinda gal. I'd prefer a small group of close friends and family than meeting strangers and I'm even one of those people who is ok being by themselves.
But business dictates that I must recruit agents for my new office and I must get the word out about this incredible opportunity not just to the agent community but to other business leaders. So from my Facebook Family I accepted an invitation to the Ormond/Daytona Chambers After Hours Sparkler yesterday at the Daytona Beach Hilton.
I showed up at the affair and it was quite packed. It sure looked like every one knew everyone else. All my junior high insecurity tapes started to play in my head all over again. I scanned the crowd looking for a friendly face...anyone I might know and I finally saw my Sales Manager Chris Scalf. The Ambassadors of the Chamber did a super job of forcing folks to meet each other by having a contest whereby each of us were to have strangers sign our cards. This would force us to meet 10 new people.
I met my 10 and I had a plate of food and I realized that the first hour of the two hour affair was almost over. I was no more closer to getting my message out than when I got there. The internal tapes were getting louder in my head about how foolish I was and how nobody wanted to hear what I had to say....yada...YADA...YADA....you know the rest of the story. I was inching my way to make my exit when something, not sure what, but something inside me said STOP IT!!!!
Previously, on FACEBOOK, I not only RSVP'd all 54 attendees that I was coming, but I had even sent them a little note telling them I would meet them here. How rude it would be for me not to say hi. Though I didn't recognize many from their FB Photos to them in the flesh, I decided that I wasn't leaving until I had no more business cards left to hand out. I came with about 30 cards so I would meet 30 people before I would leave the function.
Taking a deep breath and charging forth with one step in front of the other I approached the first table. Slapping down my business cards like a casino dealer dealing black jack, I announced..."Hello, I'm Janet Fetterman, Volusia County's REO Queen of Foreclosed Properties..." and it was off to the races.
What I discovered was that the little huddles of folks were sticking by folks they already knew where as I had stretched out and I was meeting all strangers and I made some really great contacts! I discovered that a smile and a good handshake goes very far to be approachable and asking for their card and how you can help them to do more business is what it is all about.
I know that to recruit agents I must attend more of these functions and I must get over my personal shyness but last night was a real turning point for me. I heard about a book titled: "How to Work a Room" by Susan RoAne and I just ordered it. I will internalize what she has to say.
With practice I am sure that the shyness will abate and meeting strangers will become second nature. But like anything else, sometimes you must JUST DO IT! and keep doing it until it doesn't feel so awkward. I survived last night and one lady even complimented me on how terrific of a networker I was (can I fake it or what? LOL).