A few situations of late have taught me what I now believe to be a strong and solid truth: men network over golf, women network over wine.
For years, people have joked about men golfing (or hanging out at sporting events)but; the fact is—it works. Somewhere between the 6th and 9th holes, – or the 4th quarter; major business has a tendency to go down.
Now, the only thing I can do on a golf course that doesn’t draw instant negative attention to myself is when I reach the putting green. I can plop a mean putt. But other than that, leave me out of your foursome. I’ll ruin your handicap.
Place a girl in a group of women with some wine, however, and you’ll find some major career moves going down there as well.
I came to that conclusion recently when I found myself enjoying the company of some powerful women who network privately—over wine. What I overheard while watching the ladies imbibe was pretty impressive.
The ladies came to relax among like-minded, savvy gals who enjoy being themselves while bringing their abilities and skillsets to the conversations. What they left with were potential deals in their pockets or connections to that next prosperous partnership.
To prove my point, a colleague of mine who owns a lovely retail establishment had been expressing to me the pain caused by the Amazon syndrome. She was struggling with some new sales strategies. She’d been so engrossed in solving her business issues that she had completely neglected any sort of networking.
When I challenged her with an invitation to experience this particular group of ladies, she was amenable, but hesitant. She just didn’t see how networking could turn your business around. However, once at the event, before she even had a glass of wine in her hand, she was connecting and being asked for advice relating to specific services her establishment offered. When we left she looked at me and said, “You win. You were right. I get it.”
Now, before you think I am encouraging libations and debauchery, please hear me out. The same can be said for women networking over coffee or dinner. Please know I believe in those options as well, there is something about after work wind down time for women, a glass of wine and networking that leads to real and natural conversations that lead to good business.
I think you can see the point. What works for some may not make sense to others. But when you find what works for you, well— work it! If you need to make more coffee dates; or a tee time, do it. But get out there.
We tend to stagnate after a few years in business; wrongly assuming that the pipeline will continue to flow. It doesn’t. Like any good line, things happen, it gets clogged and you need to provide some maintenance.
If you’ve been struggling for a new stream of business in your world, may I suggest you consider beginning to move in the direction of honing your networking skills.
It doesn’t require golf or wine, but it does require getting out there and connecting. I’d love to hear what works for you. We here at Epiphany always enjoy fresh input and conversations with our colleagues and clients. Your stories are more than welcomed.
See you next month,