The temperature is rising and so are your summer networking opportunities!
Every once in a while I hear a BNI member say that their chapter slows down during the summer months. I also know of many chapters that flourish in the summer with new members and referral growth! So why are some up and some down? It is a matter of gearing towards the season by refocusing on referrals during your networking activities? Build your business while traveling on vacation too.
What summertime networking activities are you attending? These may not seem like networking activities, however, you should still always be prepared.
- Block Parties
- Pool parties
- Ball games or sporting events
- Music Festivals
- Or just some summertime fun:
Golf, Boating, Traveling, Fishing, Hiking, Tennis, Sailing, Camping or Gardening?
Barbecue / Block Party Networking!
Whether headed to a holiday block party blowout or a more intimate birthday celebration for a colleague, barbecues are a great chance to meet friends of friends and expand your professional network.
Make the most of your family barbecue. Bring a few sample products to the barbecue to give out to family and friends. Who better to help spread the word for you? If you are so inclined, ask attendees to bring a new friend with them to the event. More than likely, some family members will show up with uninvited guests anyway. The more the merrier, right? Use these opportunities to get to know people and share what you are looking for. You never know who they know! But don’t break out in a sales pitch at a barbecue. Ever. People are there to have fun, relax and enjoy.
Pool Party / Picnic Networking:
Remember that a good networker has two ears and one mouth and uses them proportionately! Listen to what everyone is saying at your summertime activities. What topics are they mentioning?
Are they complaining about their business?
Invite them to visit your BNI chapter.
Are they excited about a wedding?
Share about those members in your chapter that are good referrals for them.
Do they talk about their home being too hot in the summer and it costs too much to cool?
Talk about your HVAC or solar member.
Do they want to remodel their home or need to move homes?
It’s Referral time!
Ball Game / Sporting Event Networking:
A great networking strategy is to get tickets to a local ball game or sporting event and invite BNI members and potential referral partners you know to introduce to each other. Whether your team wins or loses, great connections can be made!
Music Festival Networking:
The hills are alive with the sound of networking. Music brings people from all different types of professional backgrounds together networking through all of the music and dancing at a music festival will be a challenge, but it can prove to be invaluable. While each attendee might have a different background, many will have the same overall goal– utilizing networking to make meaningful connections and build their businesses. Every personal encounter is a potential opportunity for networking, so don’t overlook anyone.
Networking at Reunions:
Summertime is the time for both family reunions and class reunions. These are essentially a gathering of (potentially) dozens of people who, despite the fact that they took various different professional paths, automatically have a great deal in common and genuinely want to see one another succeed. So if you’re looking for a job, a career change, industry advice or even if you’re just hoping to network within your field, attending your reunion could be just the ticket. The question is not whether you should attend your reunion, but how you will network effectively at the reunion.
The FOUR hour “one to one” Networking Foursome!
If you are a golfer, find a fellow BNI Member who also plays golf. Set up a round of golf and you each bring a favorite golf playing client to introduce to each other as a referral source for the other BNI member. What a great way to solidify a top referral source and score a ‘hole in one” referral yourself with someone else!
If you do not play golf? Is there a summertime activity that you do that you and a fellow member can invite clients to attend? (Boating, Fishing, Hiking, Tennis, Sailing, Camping, or Gardening)
Any place you go with family, friends or strangers is a networking opportunity!
- Bring Your Business Cards! Bring your fellow BNI members’ business cards with you to all your summertime events!
- Remember Your Fellow Members and make a goal for one referral per event you attend!
- Who have you met at these summertime events that you can invite to your chapter as a visitor?
Here’s to a GREAT summer in the Northern Hemisphere filled with lots of referrals! Those BNI Members south of the Equator can wait to use these tips in December or try to network on the ski slopes.