Just because it’s the summer and sunny outside, doesn’t mean that new business opportunities should be left in the dark. Now is the time to be reviewing your contacts and looking at creative ways to network or rekindle past business relationships to gain new business.
Sure, during these few months, there are fewer events, fewer people around, and frankly, because it’s hot and humid no one really wants to get out there to meet new people.
However, even though no one seems interested in networking over the summer, I think it’s a great time to do so – just maybe not at a key industry marketing or sales events. But how do you build your business network when there are no obvious opportunities to do so? You make the opportunities!
Here are a few ideas to think about over the next few weeks:
1. Review your business contacts: Do you ever come back from an event excited by the people you met, get in touch with them, and then have nothing come of it? Why not invite them to lunch? Send them your promotional product with a personal handwritten note. Do something to get reacquainted and to earn their business or referral. You can also meet others for lunch. Take the time over the next few weeks to set up lunch meetings to get to know people.
Review your social media online presence on LinkedIn and similar. Perhaps it is time to get to know more about your ‘friends’ networking group by getting in touch? Have you also reviewed your business profile or joined new groups for further networking opportunities online? If not, now is the time.
2. Have a very happy holiday: Always thinking about the next business opportunity? I have a few examples of colleagues that managed to strike up a conversation with someone on the plane they were sitting next to as they were flying off on holiday. The result? A business meeting on their return! You don’t need to spend your much-needed holiday break passing out business cards, but one friendly conversation may lead to a productive opportunity – if you get speaking to people and find out what they do. Maybe you will find that you can do business together.
In this mobile world, you don’t need to live in the same country as your customers, so don’t let that be an excuse not to network with fellow tourists.
3. Prepare, prepare, prepare: Use the relative calm of summer to figure out your new business strategy, as once this period is over it will be back to business as usual. Are there individuals or companies whose business you really want to achieve in the coming year? Have you set out your PR and communication plan for the next 6-12 months? How about using the next few weeks to write subject matter expertise articles? Work on building your brand by writing articles, blog posts, etc. so you let others know about your expertise.
Use this time to your advantage. Get ahead of the competition by creatively and intelligently networking throughout the summer!
Get in touch with AD for more creative ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org