Do you know what I’ve decided after this long hot summer so far ………

The sun is very distracting! 

Would you agree?

Maybe it’s because it is a very rare occurrence here in the UK, but this can be challenging from a work perspective.

The sun is out and the temperatures are rising: It’s summer time! And although the summer brings BBQs, garden parties and “Summer Fridays” in the office, there’s one area often overlooked, and it got me thinking ………business still goes on in the summer months so what do you do to beat your competitors on the sales opportunities? 

The other half of my brain says the kids are off, the sun is shining and our minds are often anywhere else other than work. But what if, instead of missing out this summer, you seize the opportunities instead?

Focus on your networking, keep the momentum going that you’ve worked hard all year to build. Let’s do something that your competitors aren’t!

When the weather is nice, the majority of us want to be outdoors, right? The owners and managers at businesses are no different. And that’s why during the summer season you’ll discover many networking opportunities.

For some small businesses, the summer is the busiest time of year. But for others, it’s the slow season. Regardless of what time of year it is for you, there are things all business owners can do this summer to be proactive and productive.

And whether you’re taking advantage of the extra foot traffic in your business or a quiet space in time to reflect and think about your future goals, planning in networking is vital.

Planning and preparation

We are all familiar with the quote “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” and it’s no different at this time of year.

We all know that summer holidays happen every each year. So, plan your networking well ahead with your team/colleagues so that there are no missed opportunities this Summer!

This can really help you make the most out of the next few months. Tomorrow’s success really does start today, so it’s important that no matter what season you’re in, you are thinking ahead and getting ready for the next one!

This time of year, it is important to seize business networking opportunities. Networking in summer has a tendency to often be more relaxed, colleagues and connections are potentially more open to new ideas, so you never know who you may meet while you’re out and about, especially if the summer outing is business related.

Understanding that people are gathering together during the summer to celebrate, socialise, and enjoy the outdoors and special occasions, they often leave their “professional psyche” behind.  Few are attending to discuss business. View this first as very valuable relationship-building opportunity and as a networking one later.

Tips for Summer Networking

Do…

  • Ask questions about others.  People love to talk about themselves.  The best way to get people to feel as though they trust and know you is actually when you know them.
  • Be prepared, have your business cards ready, and capture another’s contact detail immediately. Be mindful most will have left their business cards in their offices. Connect through technology, phone capture, social media or websites.
  • Read the room, make wise decisions about whether talking business or about your job interests is really appropriate in the setting.  Networking is most effective when nuanced.
  • Practice describing what you do or aspire to do in a sound-bite.  If you have a chance to drop it in to a conversation, great! Then allow others to ask more questions and move on.

Don’t…

  • Forget that this is all about relationship-building.  Your goals for networking will come after this is done well.
  • Be overt in your networking attempts or appear to be “in people’s faces”.
  • Push your agenda to a disinterested crowd, you will become known for all of the wrong reasons.
  • Attend an event with the primary mission and goal of networking, enjoy the moments and celebrations in life, and view a new relationship or contact as a beneficial by-product outcome from such an event.

Keep this in mind this summer and you’ll reach new customers, continue to engage existing customers, and just have a little extra fun as well!