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How Introverts Gain Confidence During Conversations

How Introverts Gain Confidence During Conversations

by Matthew Pollard
author of The Introvert's Guide to Networking

We introverts tend to overthink things.

I know I sure do!

We get stuck in our own heads trying to work out what to say. By the time we do, the moment has passed.

Think about it: When do you usually mess up? When you’re the most nervous, right?

When we don’t know what to say or how to respond.

Imagine if you could have the same conversation a hundred times though.

Don’t you think you’d be even better at it the hundred and first? Of course you would.

Even if only 80 percent went according to plan, don’t you think you’d feel more relaxed and able to guide the other 20 percent more effectively?

Once you’ve got your system down, you’ll never really need to change it again.

If you’re always in the same rooms with the same types of people (your niche), and have already chosen the people to speak to (by doing your research), then the questions they ask, statements they make, and even jokes they tell will be mostly the same.

This means that you’ll always know exactly what you’re going to say—though to your listener, it feels like a natural, organic conversation.

To get to this level of success, you need to perfect what I call your “Networking Playbook”—that is, scripting out what you actually plan to say.

Gain Confidence with a Unified Message

The first part of the Networking Playbook is looking at yourself as a brand versus a commodity.

A commodity is understood to be a material or product that looks pretty much like all its competitors.

Ask yourself, given your unique history and achievements, how could any commodity box possibly do you justice?

I was different—and so are you.

But if you don’t communicate that right at the start, the listener’s brain will find a box and automatically put you in it . . . even if you don’t belong there.

And you know the thing about first impressions: once formed, they are tremendously hard to change.

I knew that if I wanted to get out of the box, I needed to start thinking outside it. I needed a way of responding to the question “What do you do?” in a way that would:

  • Sidestep my competition
  • Communicate the outcome or value I could provide them
  • Allude to my passion and mission
  • Not pigeonhole myself into something too specific, that wouldn’t allow me to grow and change

In other words, I needed one phrase that unified everything in a simple message. Not a slogan, not a tagline, but something that defined who I was, almost on a spiritual level.

That’s when it came to me: “Why don’t I call myself the Rapid Growth® Guy?”

So how did I drop my Unified Message naturally into a conversation?

Get Confident at Having Conversations

When I introduce myself, I’m almost always the first to ask what they do.

I listen intently, empathize, and ask genuine questions.

With all my focus on them, at some point, they’ll want to reciprocate and ask what I do. All I do is wait for their invitation, and then bang!—I press “play” on my internal tape player.

Here’s the basic script I provide my clients:

“I’m the [insert Unified Message].”

They ask: “The [Unified Message]? What exactly is that?”

“Thanks for asking!”

[Share concise statement, drawing from your passion, your new understanding of your niche, and the three main problems you solve or outcomes you provide for them.]

Option 1: “Well, I hate seeing [niche] [define problems].

Option 2: “I love seeing [niche] [define success]; however, I find that [define problems].

“Do you know anyone like that?”

[Wait for response, which is almost always yes—especially if you’ve done all the right research beforehand.]

“Well, I’m on a mission to help [niche] realize/achieve/overcome/avoid [pleasure of attaining it or pain of not attaining it]. Not by [what most people are doing] but instead focusing on three often neglected/forgotten/ridiculously simple steps.”

[Act like you’re going to explain, then interrupt yourself.]

“Actually, you know what? Let me give you an example.

See, when I first met [tell story].”

Finish with moral, then: “Does that make sense?”

[Wait for response.]

To bring it all together for you, here’s what I say when people invite me to explain what I do as the Rapid Growth Guy:

Option 1: “Well, I hate seeing introverted small-business owners, with strong functional skills, constantly stuck in a hamster wheel of struggling to find interested prospects, set themselves apart, and make the sale, all while feeling like they’re selling to prospects who only seem to care about one thing—price. Do you know anyone like that?”

Option 2: “Well, I love seeing introverted individuals with enough skill, passion, talent, and belief in themselves to launch their own business. However, I find that many of them end up stuck in an endless hamster wheel of struggling to find interested prospects, set themselves apart, and make the sale. Do you know anyone like that?” Of course they do. That describes virtually everyone in or associated with my niche.

I then say, “I’m on a mission to help these business owners realize they don’t need to give up on their dream business—that there is a way they can earn a phenomenal income doing what they love. Not by getting better at their functional skill, as they’re usually already great at that, but instead by focusing on three often neglected steps.

Actually, you know what, let me give you an example. See, when Wendy”—or Whitney or Derek—“first came to me . . .”

At the end, after sharing my moral, when I say, “Does that make sense?” most people say, “Yes, that’s me! I need what Wendy has!” or “I have the exact same problems that Wendy did!” or “Wow, you really know your stuff. I’m not a small business owner myself, but I want to introduce you to—”

See, they’ve just experienced a powerful cocktail of passion, mission, and story. They’ve heard the enthusiasm in my voice and felt my excitement. How could they not be affected by it?

Want to read more? Get the book!

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Matthew Pollard

Matthew Pollard, known as "The Rapid Growth Guy," works with businesses around the world, from startups to Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft and Capital One. Responsible for launching five zero-to-million-dollar businesses, he also founded Austin's Small Business Festival, which is now a nationwide event. A native of Australia, he splits his time between North Carolina and Texas.

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