Summertime Connection

It’s amazing! We’re on the cusp of July. Kids are out of school, and some are going to camp. BBQ’s are showing up on our calendars, Tuesday will bring fireworks, and some offices will institute summer Friday’s. It’s a good time to be alive. But what about business? Sometimes amidst the relaxation and the heat, some of us may experience a Summer sloooooow down.

But it doesn’t have to go that way.

Whether we’re sitting around a conference table, a pool, or a campfire, connection can happen that can lead to closed business. Whether you’re wearing a business suit or a swim suit, people have needs and those needs NEED to be met. And they’re willing to spend the money for the goods and services to ensure that happens.

Consider that it’s less a matter of cost, and more a matter of value. Less about sales, and more about connection and finding the pieces that fill gaps.

So here are some things to keep in mind as we enter and move through this hot, social, and potentially business filled season.

People consume what they believe in – what they believe will support their goals. And their belief, starts with ours. You can’t powerfully recommend an Italian Restaurant that you haven’t eaten at, or one you don’t think is great. But if you have, and you do, it’s as easy as sharing what you’ve discovered and why they might like it.

People connect when their guard is down. Walking through the city streets, we’re conditioned to lead with “no.” No to the brochure for the Empire State Building, the request to sign the latest petition, the offer for the free whatever. But sitting on a lounge chair in someone’s back yard, with a cold drink in hand, when you’ve both made it through the filter of being invited – in other words you’re ok and they’re ok – people are open. And finding common ground is easy.

Most people love to talk about themselves. We’re conditioned to not hog the microphone, because we’re taught that it’s rude. But allowing the other person plenty of airtime to share about themselves is a great way to make a good impression. Less is more. Remember the 70/30 rule. Listen 70% of the time and talk for 30. It postures you well and creates a strong impression.

You have to actually express yourself out loud. Nobody is a mind reader. Or as my late Grandpa Henry liked to say, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” So perhaps don’t have your business be the first topic you discuss – unless of course it’s asked about or makes sense for other reasons. But do make sure once a foundation is established that at some point it enters the conversation. Don’t make the mistake of realizing on the ride home that the person you were having fun with could have made a solid business lead.

Maybe at the party isn’t the right time to talk shop. They’re busy multitasking: eating ribs, keeping an eye on the kids, and playing beer pong. Just establish the connection and make sure to get contact info so you can follow up when you’re back in the office.

Creating business connections does take some doing, some action. But it’s all about the being. People remember how we make them feel. And they’re drawn to those who are easy going, have a sense of humor, and appear to enjoy living their lives. So as you roll into the coming holiday, keep in mind that the more enjoyment you’re experiencing, the easier it will be to bring your best, to create connection, and to ultimately generate business.

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