No matter what business you’re in, you’re going to somehow, some way, some shape or form deal with people.
It can be quite intimidating trying to sell people on your product or services, especially when you’re new in the field, and you don’t feel like you know everything you need to.
I used to be extremely shy. And, in reality, I still am. I still hesitate when going to parties if I don’t know a lot of people there, I still get a little nervous contacting new people. I consider myself a “situational extrovert.” I’m only outgoing when I absolutely need to be. But, I’m working my way through it.
The first thing that you have to realize it that we’re all human. We all have the same emotions, feelings, and desires. Everyone on this planet walks around with an invisible sign that says: “Look at me, make me feel important.”
I have yet to encounter someone who is blatantly rude to me upon first meeting. Generally, as a rule, humans are pretty warm and friendly. And even if someone is having a bad day, we can usually turn it around with a nice smile, or an acknowledgement of their distress.
As with anything, the best way out is through. The only way to overcome, or at least deal with, your shyness is to practice not being shy!
I highly recommend signing up for acting classes through community education or local theater groups, or going to your local toastmasters event. By getting in front of an audience on a regular basis, you’ll be able to work through your shyness and stage fright. After giving a few talks in front of 5, 10, 20, 30 or more people, contacting a prospect one on one won’t seem like such an issue.
If that’s too much for you to start with, then begin just by talking to people on the street. Go out to the bus stop and start a conversation with someone…even if you don’t have a bus to catch! Don’t just ask for directions or the time, approach someone and give them a compliment on what their clothing style. Or go on a walk and talk to someone who’s gardening in their front lawn. Go beyond questions about the weather and ask about what they’re planting and ask for recommendations about your garden…even if you don’t have one. Questions are the building blocks of any conversation and will help you guide a conversation even when you feel terrified to start.
If approaching strangers seems unnerving, you can start with people who are looking to be approached. Pull some business cards off of a local posting board, (at the library, coffee shop, or grocery store) and contact the person to ask about their business or services. Do this not because you’re necessarily interested in what they’re offering, but use it as a study to see how they approach you. Note the questions they ask you and what they do to get you interested in working with them.
Do you have other ideas to help manage shyness? No matter what you do, if you take even the littlest of steps each day, you’ll see your confidence grow.
Think about all the extra money you could make by being a mystery shopper, starting your own business, or working from home for a legitimate company. Take control of your income and check out our LEARN page for a list of classes, books, and more!