It’s summer time. Downtime, time to relax a bit? Maybe, yet maybe not. In fact, summer time may be the best time to grow your business when you don’t even know it. Picture a lazy afternoon at a community barbecue. Oh sure, I’ve heard it before “Do we REALLY have to go to that?” Yes, you do. And here’s why.
Sure there’s plenty of homemade goodies, cool beverages and hot summer sun yet there’s something that could be just as sizzling if you took a closer look: NEW BUSINESS. Yes, new business.
I’ve often found the best time to cultivate new friendships and funding for my business is during times when my potential future clients least expect it. That’s why I always encourage my peers to pay attention to the less obvious moments for business growth. Think about it: everyone’s usually in a great mood, kicked back, telling tales of the winter gone by and are focusing on a fun summer ahead. In situations like this, there is no better way to start to culminate new friends who … in the future … maybe resourceful for future business leads.
So dress your best, gather your own interesting stories, watch your intake of ‘adult lemonade’ and get out there and enjoy the neighborhood bash that you always thought you could skip.
A few more reminders: although it’s casual, don’t forget these important network strenthening tips:
- Make sure the outfit you choose to wear best represents a nice image; we all know when we’re under dressed or overdressed
- When you introduce yourself to someone say your full name (first and last)
- Give a firm handshake; you don’t want a limp handshake or one that’s a death grip
- Bring at least 20 business cards and have your business cards in an accessible pocket
- Work the backyard…as in: don’t spend the entire afternoon under the pine tree. The point of networking is to “network.”
And don’t’ forget to thank the host upon departure: he, or she, knows everyone you just met and will be your best resource for future business this fall.
Have a great summer!
Lee Weber Koch
Founder/Principal of Weber & Associates which offers creative marketing solutions for small business and non profit agencies throughout the west.
I’ve heard a lot of contacts referring to the “6 degrees of separation” which according to Wikipedia is noted as “the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, ‘a friend of a friend” statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer.” And it’s interesting that if you pay attention to what you hear at events or networking meetings that a whole lot of this concept can come to fruition.
Just this past week at TBX we invested some time within our weekly “Education Segment” to find out more about each other’s past and it was fascinating to find out some very enlightening, and sometimes entertaining, facts about our members; I’ll share a few then will move on:
One attended over 100 Grateful Dead Concerts; another admitted to having two personalities (really!); we had a USAF alumnus in the group; one woman noted that she can completely change a transmission and another beamed about a blind date with John Denver.
What was interesting about the exercise is that many members immediately had new things in common with others that were never uncovered before. And when it comes to nurturing relationships to build personal and professional connections, we realized this was a great exercise that we should implement immediately in our own lives … and particularly at upcoming holiday soirees.
The moral of this story: when you want to stimulate conversation with potential new clients or referral sources, get out of your comfort zone and dig into to their personal lives as people really do prefer to talk about the personal lives v/s their business. And hey, maybe you’ll find a connection that you never knew you had!
Happy gold digging … Lee
Lee Weber Koch Weber & Associates creative / marketing / solutions
You may be sitting at a coffee shop and you may be asked the million dollar question – what do you do for a living? How would you reply? Would you have a 2 word answer or a witty and engaging reply? When asked about your occupation, you should be prepared to give a 15 – 30 second reply that is thought provoking. This individual may be a prospective client or may give you a referral.
Elevator speeches can make or break you and at Tahoe Business Exchange TBX), that’s just one important business tool that we practice together each week! An effective sales pitch can give you an invitation to the bargaining table or a poorly worded reply will take you nowhere. It’s important to think of your short sales pitch or elevator speech as your commercial. No matter the situation, you better be dressed for success and on point with your reply. With proper planning and research, you should have a few different sales pitches tailored for different social situations and audiences.
So if you’d like to learn how to speak effectively and efficiently about your business, check out TBX! We’ll help get you on your feet and ready for your next possible client or business partnership.
Submitted by Lee Weber Koch, www.weberandassociates.co
In today’s fast-paced society, more and more successful businesses are finding that the good old fashioned method of face-to-face communication still works … we’re living proof.
If you’re looking for a new technique to keep you in the black and out of the red in 2011, take a look at Tahoe Business Exchange. We’re a small group where the meaning “less is more” is ever so true. Together, we work as each other’s sales teams 24/7 and provide straightforward referrals (and darn good friendships) to each of our members. Note: this is NOT multi level marketing; just a great business to business organization that meets on a weekly basis in Incline Village, Nevada. Our format is informal with a touch of structure (OK, it’s a business meeting), our price is worth your first meeting alone (just ask any member), and the end results are proof in the pudding. Hungry for more info? Send us a note and we’ll be happy to chat…
Lee Weber Koch www.weberandassociates.co