Use Summer “Leisure” Time To Build Your Business and Strengthen Connections, Part 2

With last month’s issue of this newsletter, we started a short series designed to help you look at your summer from a little bit of a different perspective. Instead of just accepting the “fact” that the summer is a time when business slows down, we are hoping to encourage you to think about ways you can turn a traditionally “slower” time into a more productive time.

With this second issue on this summertime theme, my aim is to help you start to explore how your clients’ and prospects’ summer activities can actually help strengthen your connection with them.

Here are a few ways you can do that:

• Use your clients’ and prospects’ summer activities to find new ways for you to make personal connections with them. No matter what market you’re in – individual, business, or both – your personal relationships are crucial. Enhance those by paying attention to what your clients and prospects do during the summer, and show a genuine interest. If they’re making plans to vacation somewhere you’re familiar with, send them restaurant ideas and suggestions about things to do. And most importantly, follow up when they return to find out how it all went. Genuine interest in a client and his or her family goes a long, long way in developing relationships that cannot be broken.

• Do you have a client or prospect whose son or daughter is passionate about sports and spends much of the summer participating? It doesn’t matter what sport, if their son or daughter is serious about the activity, then it’s important to the parent. Your asking regularly about how the season is going or your asking about the results of a particular travel tournament or gymnastics meet can mean a great deal to a proud parent of a student athlete.

• If you find that your clients and prospects have slowed down a little because of the summer, maybe this is the perfect time to set up lunch or coffee appointments. If things are slower within their offices, then it may be the perfect time for a prospect or client to say “yes” to seeing you outside the office.

• Likewise, some outdoor activities can still be great ways to solidify relationships. Although tax laws have changed and entertaining is not nearly as tax-efficient as it used to be, there is no doubt that spending time with clients and prospects is still a profitable way to spend your time. And golf outings and baseball games – dependent of course, on your and your prospect’s interests − are still things you can do and places you can go where you and your prospect will have plenty of time to get to know one another.

Next month, we’ll look at some practical ways to work on improving the operations of your own business during the summer months. With some strategic thinking, you can turn the summer months that you used to consider a lull into a few months of strategic development that can drive your business for months to come.

Charles Hirsch

Charles K. Hirsch, CLU
Hirsch Communications Consulting, LLC.