August is one of the more challenging months to connect with your contacts due to the vacation time. It is also the perfect month to revisit your contact list and clean it up.
How often do you spend time reevaluating who you should be targeting, the last time you reached out to them, and what you know about them? In the busy months, it is easy to overlook the important contacts. This often leads to many of them slipping through the cracks.
Out of sight, out of mind!
Now is the perfect time to reset your network. If you don’t already have a business development tool to list your important contacts where you can rank them, record the date of your last outreach, and make notes of the small yet important details about them, take some time to create that document now. I have a proprietary pipeline management tool called the Relationship Tracker that does this. I would be happy to send you a copy if you would like one.
Too often, professionals reach out to contacts when they think about them. This is manageable when the network is small but as the network continues to grow, it can lead to inefficiencies such as prioritization, proper cadence of outreaches, and important details about the contact that can make the next outreach more personable.
I am not condoning that one should drop all 1000+ LinkedIn contacts into an Excel spreadsheet. That can be an administrative nightmare. I would recommend creating a list of your top 25 – 50 internal contacts (for those of you who work for mid– to large-sized firms), external client contacts, referral sources, and perhaps alumni contacts. Separating these contacts into different “buckets” can make it much easier to find them as the network grows.
Even though many professionals think that reaching out to their contacts in August is a lost cause due to the vacation time, I beg to differ. Yes, many of your outreaches will result in an Out of Office reply, yet several of your clients might have more time on their hands to meet since the demand of their clients and colleagues may be lighter this month.
Take this time to get organized and reset your contact list. And while you are at it, reach out to your contacts regardless of this quieter month. Even if you cannot connect with them in August, you can still set up meetings for early September.