R. Shawn McBride recently spoke with Lori Saitz about her helping women become more comfortable networking to build their businesses. Here is the transcript: https://www.facebook.com/rshawnmcbridepublic/posts/1462292663802635
Shawn McBride: Hey, everybody. R. Shawn McBride here. I’ve got my friend, Lori with me. She’s got a new venture coming out about The Quiet Girls. It’s a new thing she’s figured out for communicating a way for women to really be who they are. For those of you that know me, my whole theme is planning and building plans that work. I did the TEDx talk last year on women in business, so I’m very passionate about people finding their way to make their things work, and Lori’s doing that in a very specific area. Just want to chat with her some today and spread the message. Lori, you want to tell folks a little bit about what you’re doing?
Lori Saitz: Yeah, thanks for this conversation, very cool.
Shawn McBride: Of course.
Lori Saitz: Yeah, I started this business called The Quiet Girl. What I’m doing is helping women who are terrified to walk into a room full of people they don’t know, feel more comfortable networking and starting conversations with people so that they can find clients and referral sources and find success in business.
Shawn McBride: Exactly, and this could be a big challenge for people. I know a lot of people, they’ll come to me and say, “Oh you’re a speaker, you speak to people, I could never do that.” Once you get used to it it’s not that bad, but it does take a lot of ice-breaking. What have you done with people, and what’s the way you get people a little more comfortable with these situations?
Lori Saitz: Well, the interesting thing is that I found out is that there are a lot of people, professional speakers who feel very comfortable on the stage, but once they have to come off of that stage and mix and mingle with the people in the audience, they are very uncomfortable. It’s been kind of interesting to learn that.
Shawn McBride: They’re two completely different skill sets, right? I mean, you’ve got one skill set when you’re up on stage talking to people, and then you’ve got a completely different skill set when you’re one on one interacting and they have different norms and they have different styles to them.
Lori Saitz: Yeah, yeah, completely. The Quiet Girls, what I do with them is, first of all, it’s not about changing who you are. It’s not about, okay well, in order to be effective at networking you have to become more outgoing and more gregarious. That’s never going to work. That’s not what I’m advising. It’s a matter of working with the skills and the talents and the abilities of Quiet Girls. The reason I call them Quiet Girls is, when you get into that whole introvert/extrovert, and they may be introvert, but there’s a lot of other pieces attached to those labels.
Shawn McBride: Yep.
Lori Saitz: People will look at me and they go, “But you’re not quiet. You’re so extroverted.” I’ve learned how to be that way more in networking situations, but when I had my first business, Zen Rabbit, I was quiet around people. It was very uncomfortable, especially in the beginning, because you walk into a room and, let’s say an after-hours, and everybody’s talking with other people. It looks like everyone knows someone, and you’re the only one who doesn’t know anybody there.
Shawn McBride: Right.
Lori Saitz: It’s a matter of learning how to start those conversations, and then also how to extract yourself from conversations that are over. It run its course and now you want to go talk to some other people, but you can’t just go, “Okay, we’re done here,” and walk away.
Shawn McBride: Yeah, that’s a little off-putting socially when you tell someone we’re done.
Lori Saitz: How do you extract yourself from a conversation, and what do you say? Even starting way back, how do you strategically choose which events to go to?
Shawn McBride: Right, yes, and I think that’s so important. I was talking to a group the other day on planning in general. How my life has evolved is I’ve worked with other people, because originally I started just protecting people, but eventually it became about making plans that you need to protect. No need in protecting something unless you’ve got a good plan. There’s a step beyond that which is, what do you want to do? That’s going to feed into your plan. It sounds like you’re doing the same thing. Okay, it’s great to have networking techniques, it’s great to have ways to extract yourself from conversations, but there’s probably some conversations you should have never been in in the first place.
Lori Saitz: Well, possibly. The thing is figuring out, one, who do you need to meet? Who are your ideal people? What is it exactly that you’re offering? What problems are you solving? What are you offering to them? If you’re clear on what it is you have and who your ideal people are, then the next step is, okay, where are they? A lot of people start businesses and their friends or well-meaning colleagues are like, “Oh, you know what? You should go to the Chamber they’re having a breakfast.” If your people aren’t at the Chamber then you shouldn’t be going to the Chamber.
Shawn McBride: Absolutely.
Lori Saitz: Strategically choosing and then, especially for Quiet Girls it’s not just a matter of the money and the time that you’re wasting, but the energy that it takes to get yourself there.
Shawn McBride: Yeah. Tell me what kind of groups you’re working with and who is benefiting from this message. Who really does this work well with, so other people can spot those and possibly get more?
Lori Saitz: It’s women who are entrepreneurs, and I will work with men. I have nothing against men.
Shawn McBride: Okay.
Lori Saitz: I love men, but I think women need a little more help in this area.
Shawn McBride: Right.
Lori Saitz: It’s women who are business owners, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs. They may have had a very successful career in corporate or government or healthcare where they were part of a team, but they’ve never had to build their own network outside of that business environment, and now they’re committed to doing their own thing and to leaving their mark in the world, and they need to build that network.
Shawn McBride: Yeah, and I think it helps just to feel like you have the techniques. I know in my journey with speaking, I was not a natural speaker. I did speaking in high school, I did it in college. I did the survey courses on communications or public speaking. It was not my thing, but then as I got to know my expertise and know my knowledge and then put myself on stage, it was a completely different experience. I have to imagine for a lot of women, once they understand how to control a conversation, how to work through a networking event, how to do that, that opens up that comfort. Suddenly something that’s an overwhelming experience could be a beneficial experience.
Lori Saitz: Yeah, exactly. The thing about Quiet Girls is they are really good at listening, and that’s a skill that you need to have when you’re networking, because it’s not all about you talking.
Shawn McBride: Right.
Lori Saitz: Networking is about starting a conversation. It’s the beginning of a relationship. I’ve never heard of somebody going to a networking event and walking away with a client in hand, a signed contract. It’s about starting a conversation and so, carrying on a conversation is about asking questions about the other person. What are you interested in? Those are skills that Quiet Girls are good at, but they don’t necessarily realize how they translate to being a good networker.
Shawn McBride: That’s a very interesting point. As I’ve studied sales and marketing, as I’ve built my business that becomes a necessary element. A lot, a lot of materials talk about how you need to listen. You need to listen to your customer base, you need to listen to your prospect. It sounds like you got an audience that’s well-positioned to accelerate quickly because they’ve got one of these base skills that, actually, a lot of sales people lack. They’re not good listeners and that’s one of the reasons people get so frustrated with sales people, is they’re not listening and they’re just pushing a product rather than interacting with a customer and understanding what the customer wants.
Lori Saitz: Yeah, exactly. It’s helping them realize the skills that they have can be valuable and how to use them.
Shawn McBride: Right. How have you been facilitating the training? Is this keynotes? Is this workshops? Is it coaching? Is it all of the above?
Lori Saitz: Yes, and I love the opportunity to be on a stage with a microphone. The thing is, a lot of the Quiet Girls wouldn’t necessarily be in the audience because they’re afraid to come out to these events.
Shawn McBride: Yes.
Lori Saitz: I’m also doing online things like this, as well as … I have a quick start program. It’s to help you get up and running and figure out that, who you should be talking to, what is the best way to present what you’re offering, and strategically where to go. Then the second part of that program is, okay, now you’ve gone to an event, got a handful of business cards, five or ten, whatever you have. What do you do with those cards? How do you follow up?
Shawn McBride: Sure.
Lori Saitz: If you just leave them sitting on your desk, which people tend to do, six months go by and then you dump them into the trash can. You again, wasted your time going as you’ve gotten nothing out of it. You haven’t advanced the relationship.
Shawn McBride: Absolutely.
Lori Saitz: The second piece of that is, what do you do? How do you follow up? How do you build that relationship?
Shawn McBride: It sounds like you’ve got a whole process. Some people might want to book you to speak to their audience, but there might be some people out there that watch this video and say, “I can use this help, but I really don’t want to be in a public forum admitting that I’m struggling with this issue.” In which case you potentially work with them through a training program or individually.
Lori Saitz: Yeah. What I’d really love to develop is a partnership with conferences so that, maybe on the day before the conference starts, we do a workshop for those people who would consider themselves the quiet people for two things. One, to help them feel more comfortable networking in the whole conference, but it also allows them an opportunity to meet each other so then once they’re at the conference they all have now met some people already and they feel a little bit more comfortable, and you know, you run into the same people all the time.
Shawn McBride: You become a team, right? So many times at conferences, and it’s interesting to go to these conferences and sometimes people have known each other for many, many years. People are in the same industry, they’ve come to the same conference again and again, so you have some of these kind of quasi-cliques. It’s not intentional, it’s just people know each other. Now you’re offering people a chance potentially with that. I think it’s a great value added where they feel like they know a handful of people, so they’ve kind of got that jump start on the conference and they might make some more introductions that way.
Lori Saitz: Exactly, yep.
Shawn McBride: Yeah. I find it very powerful when I make friends early at a conference. You know, I’ll talk to somebody, we’ll bond a little bit, we have some similarities – some stuff to follow up on after the conference. Then we’re looking out for each other at the conference. I might meet somebody that’s beneficial for them to meet or vice versa. Just that little extra jump start can make a huge difference in your conference experience.
Lori Saitz: Exactly, yeah.
Shawn McBride: I love what you’re doing. I think that’s a fantastic value added, and I’m certainly going to keep that in mind. I know my longer, mid-range plan I’m going to have some conferences and events, and that might be a great thing to do beforehand is just facilitate that and get people talking. I know other conference organizers will probably love that. It’s a great value added. It’s a little extra offer they can make for their customers. It gets a whole new audience of people that might be … That might tip somebody from going to the conference. They may be on the fence about going to the conference, but when they see that extra value added and it speaks to them, they might make the decision to go to the entire conference.
Lori Saitz: Exactly. That’s my thought, too.
Shawn McBride: I love the idea, love the idea. Lori, how do people get a hold of you?
Lori Saitz: They can find me at www.thequietgirls.com.
Shawn McBride: Wonderful.
Lori Saitz: At www.thequietgirls.com you can find a free report that is the five mistakes quiet entrepreneurs make, and what to do instead.
Shawn McBride: That’s fantastic.
Lori Saitz: A little gift for website visitors.
Shawn McBride: Excellent, well everybody should make their way over there, check that out. Thanks for being on here and really spreading this message. I think it’s a wonderful value added and you’ve opened some new thinking in my head for the future, myself. Everyone, I’m R. Shawn McBride. Lori, thanks for being on here.
Lori Saitz: My pleasure.
Shawn McBride: As you all know, my mission is to make people build plans that work, and different people have different needs. I’m always out there assessing when I’m speaking at conferences or working one on one with clients, “What do you need?” There’s really some people that need that little extra boost. I tell you what, just getting started on that, getting that little extra piece, that’s going to push you to a whole another level, it’s going to open up a whole world. If you’re one of these Quiet Girls and you’re a little concerned about jumping out there, take a look at Lori’s materials. Jump out there and this will just open up a whole world for you. Thanks for being here, Lori. I will chat with you again soon. Thank you, everybody.
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