By Mindy Wolfle
June 29, 2017
Despite a dearth of organized networking events in the summer – as opposed to three or more a day during the other seasons – Long Island professionals never lack in initiative to make summertime the most effective networking season of all. Of course, it’s all about relationship building. Add that to the list of summer pastimes we share on our island: beaches, concerts, parks, water sports, cook-outs, bike riding, reading, hiking, picnics, golf, tennis … a long list, indeed, and that’s just for starters. But there’s always time to network, as these professionals confirm.
Marvin Soskil, president of Brett Harrison Jewelry Brokers, Inc., meets with prospects and potential referral sources two to three mornings a week for coffee or breakfast, twice weekly for lunch and two to three nights a week for drinks. Marvin states, “I find that one-on-one or two-on-one networking is so much more productive, because we actually get to know the person better from a business and personal standpoint. ” The key is always relationship building.
Angela Carillo works for North Shore Schools and president of Alegna Soap, a Long Island-based artisanal bath and body company. Since she functions on a school calendar for her day job, summertime is when Angela catches up on networking, spending one day each week lunching with associates and another day stopping in on private label customers. Although her school schedule includes weeks off, Angela adds, “I can do so much more in the summer.” She also takes advantage of the Farmingdale Small Business Development Center’s summer workshops, where new contacts are plentiful.
Education figures prominently in Justin Smulison’s summer connection-making. A content writer and producer, he states, “This summer, I will be taking a professional development course in a field that always has been a hobby. It will prepare me for a certification exam, which I intend to pass and with the new knowledge and experience, possibly chart a new career path. I’ll have plenty of opportunities to network with my new classmates and hopefully afterward with potential new clients, too.” Justin adds, “I didn’t intentionally register for the course because it was summer; it just worked out that way.”
Sharyn O’Mara, communications director at Wisselman & Associates, adds a clever twist to summer networking. “In the summer I look for events at country clubs, outdoor bars and restaurants, venues on the beach or at a beach club. I am comfortable being more colorful at summer networking events. It often is a good conversation starter, as we look to differentiate ourselves and be memorable. I love leaving the coats, jackets and big bags behind. After the networking event, it is still the same: connect on LinkedIn and follow up, follow up.”
Beth Granger, CEO of Beth Granger Consulting, focuses on social media and social sales training. She sums up the topic quite succinctly. “I try to set up one-to-one or small group opportunity/networking meetings with the people from my regular groups. Sometimes I’m too busy to do that throughout the year as much as I’d like.”
Mindy Wolfle is the president of Neptune Marketing LLC, chief marketing officer of Vishnick McGovern Milizio LLP, and instructor of business writing and not-for-profit marketing in Hofstra University’s continuing education program. She is a member of Women Economic Developers of Long Island, Public Relations Professionals of Long Island, the Social Media Association and Direct Marketing Association of Long Island. Her LinkedIn profile describes her as a marketing/public relations/social media executive, writer, editor, educator, connection maker, semiotician and do-gooder.