“To get a step up in the world, you could use a ladder or you could use your connections. I prefer the latter.” Jarod Kintz
To say that the recent Sydney weather has been unpredictable and destructive is not over-dramatising things. Wild winds, driving rain, unseasonal hail….we have experienced a gamut of intense storm activity.
And while we are hopeful that this is the last we see of this wild weather, the temperature is dropping. The evenings are becoming chilly. We’re popping our coats and scarves on for the commute home and it’s getting darker earlier.
And maybe you are using the weather as an excuse to not go to that networking event. Or not go to that meet-up. Or nip out early from the conference you attended before it gets too cold on the train home?
The other morning it was pouring with rain when the alarm went off in our house, I asked my husband why he had set it so early. He had a networking breakfast he had been invited to but quickly said he would rather miss it as he had a full workload. Being married to me means, I encouraged him to go!!! Would I be right if I suggested that you may have used the weather as an excuse to not network?
The colder months are actually a great time to network and here is why;
1. Less people = Deeper Connections
As networking events become smaller during winter, when YOU’VE made the effort to attend you may find you have more access to less people. And that’s a good thing! This gives you the opportunity to form deeper, more meaningful connections as potential relationships literally don’t get lost in the crowd.
2. Seasonal Relevance
Have you thought about whether your product and service is actually more relevant to potential customers and connections at a certain time of year? I met the Business Development Manager of a landscaping management and maintenance company at a networking event recently who was talking about the importance of mulching in winter. One of the people in the group that we were chatting with owned an industrial estate and needed someone to take over the landscaping maintenance. I am imagining they are doing business together right now. It was a case of the right pitch in the right season!
3. Cold Events = Hot Opportunities
Remember that networking isn’t just about attending drinks or breakfast events with a speaker. It’s about meeting new people and connecting deeper with those you know, listening to what they have to say and thinking about a way you can possibly help each other. Everyone wants warming up so perhaps invite someone a warm cup of coffee or hot chocolate. My little one is too young, but I know that school sports still run all through winter so if you are standing on the sidelines in your gumboots and parka watching the kids play soccer or netball, make it worth your while by chatting to the other parents and carers in the same boat with you. No icebreaker needed (ironically!). You’ve already got standing in the wind and rain on a freezing Saturday morning in common!
4. Job Role Perspective
Many people think networking is not part of their job role. In fact, it is. It is part of everybody’s job role. Not just sales people. If you are in operations, IT, admin, whatever it may be! Networking should be regarded as part of your job role and responsibilities. So considering that, would you call your boss and say ‘I’m sorry, I’m not coming into work for the next three months. It’s too cold.” Ah no. I am imagining you wouldn’t. So don’t do the same with your networking strategy. Don’t cross out 12 weeks of potential leads, knowledge sharing and connections. You never know what you may miss out on.
So step away from your desk, wrap yourself up in those warm winter woollies and don’t use the weather as an excuse to not get your networking groove on. While the term ‘make hay while the sun shines’ doesn’t exactly work here, you get my drift.
Keep your momentum going during these colder months and do not give networking the cold shoulder.
Looking for ways to improve your networking skills? We have a new course starting in September 2015 to help you develop the best strategy for you and how you can manage your nework moving forwards. Find out more information here.
ps - our next course intake is September (with limited places) - hope to see you there:)