Summertime. And the livin’ is easy.
I often hear business people lament (or celebrate) that nothing happens in the summer. They say no one is around. I always, respectfully, disagree.
Whether you meet on the golf course or ball game, at the beach or on the water, or drinking and dining al fresco at one of Rhode Island’s wealth of outdoor venues, summer can certainly be ripe for business development.
Yes, summer is the perfect time to write that blog post you have been formulating in your head, to beef up your professional biography on your company website and your LinkedIn profile with your latest accomplishments and credentials, and to update your clients/friends in your contact databases.
Along the way, watch for your favorite referral sources or long-time clients/customers with whom you have lost touch in the busy pace of regular your work life. Contact them to set a time to re-engage. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone in hopes of an impromptu chat or to leave a warm greeting with an invitation to meet.
With the slower pace of many workplaces in the summer months and less pressure from deadlines, summer can be ideal for attending networking events designed to build relationships and, ultimately, foster business development. These gatherings may even be set in a relaxed atmosphere, creating a better experience for those still honing their 30-second intro and offering an easier path to meet new people.
Don’t forget that effective networking at summer occasions, however, may be more about relationship-building than closing the deal. Understand that people are gathering together during the summer to celebrate, socialize, and enjoy the outdoors; they often focus less on their “professional self “and more on general conversation. That said, it is always important to be prepared and know how to describe the best of you or the best of what you do quickly. If there is an interest, others will ask for more.
Basically, it’s all about connecting and building relationships. We like to do business with people we like. And summertime is an easy time to embark on some fruitful marketing activities and engage with newfound friends.