Summer gives you more opportunities than any other time of year to connect with new people, whether it’s old friends passing through town, a new mom at the local pool, or the stranger sitting next to you on the plane.
Each connection provides the chance to bring a new customer or partner on board. But how do you create an authentic opportunity when you might only have a short few moments to talk to any new prospect -- without feeling like you’re pushing or being “salesy”?
It’s what we like to call Lifestyle Marketing, and here’s your guide to getting started!
Don’t Be Weird, Just Be Compelling
One of the first questions of any get-to-know-you conversation is “What do you do?” The new person you’ve just met will probably share a short bio; when they return the question, it’s your opportunity to have the perfect response. Answering their question isn’t being pushy; it’s just being normal.
Think ahead and know how you’ll describe your business to a stranger. Don’t undercut the work you do; don’t write it off as a side gig when it’s actually a business. Think of what you consider the top selling points of your company, and lead with one of these, whether it’s a compelling statistic about the brand or an inviting detail that makes them curious to learn more
Here’s how one TRAKstar likes to answer this question: “I have a virtual, home-based business with the top selling/best performing/most successful company in the U.S.” (Fill in the specifics to fit YOUR scenario!)
Try out some lines on your friends, or get your business team together and do some brainstorming. No matter the season, this is a question you’ll answer over and over again, so make sure you know your one-line response to this common conversation-starter.
Share Without Words
People are visual creatures; they might not want to immediately engage a stranger in a conversation, but they’ll notice your snazzy sunglasses, or your unique piece of jewelry, or your branded water bottle. It’s an easy extra step to always have a visual with you. Seeing your logo or admiring your swag gives people an entry point to ask you a question, whether or not they’re familiar with your company.
Find The Relevance - But Keep It Simple
Be creative as you engage in discussions -- you can bring up your business in any conversation. On a vacation to celebrate your team, or as a reward for your hard work? Let the couple sitting across from you at dinner know that your business paid to send you to paradise.
Talking to a new friend about juggling work and family when the kids are home from school? Mention that you can work remotely, so you can sit outside while the kids are playing and also get your work done.
Don’t brag, and don’t get into the details (unless they ask!) - you don’t want to come across as entitled or make someone think your story is too different from their own. Remember, you’re trying to create an environment that people want to be a part of; sharing a glimpse into how your business has served you may let them start to imagine how it could help them too!
Remember What Your Job Is
Working in networking means you’re always at work. The only way you can grow and succeed is to continually meet new people and create the opportunity for a lasting connection.
Let’s face it, most people would prefer to put in their earbuds and tune out on a long plane ride or at the beach, but these types of environments, when you’re taken out of your routine and thrown in with people you’d never otherwise meet, are unique chances to expand your network. How many new contacts can you add to Traktivity because of the choices you make on any given day? Be a boss and get it done!
People on vacation seem to be more inclined to talk about their dreams, about how they can have more of that experience in their lives. Or, they might reflect on all of the stress they’re happy to have stepped away from. Summer brings out the same tendencies to dream big and plan for a better future. So LISTEN to the stories people tell you, and beneath their words, you’ll hear their Why.
Once you’ve found a person’s Why, you’ve got a foundation to start a bigger discussion; about how your business helped you reach your own Why (or take steps in that direction), and how they might be able to do the same.
Be thoughtful, and don’t rush this conversation; like any other relationship in your life, these new connections need to be nourished over time. But if you listen to what people tell you, you’ll find they’ll tell you what they are seeking; and it just might be something you can help provide.
You were planning to follow up, weren’t you?
True, it could be difficult to follow up every time you have a chance encounter with a stranger. After all, stalking people on social media doesn’t always pay off the way you intend. But if you’ve laid the foundation for a next call, email, or meeting, don’t let too much time pass before you follow up and get it on the calendar. People’s lives move fast, and you want to take advantage of the positive momentum from your first conversation before the contact starts to forget about you!