Wonderful Nugget from my friend and mentor, Al Martella, Executive Coach and former Corporate Vice President and Trainer to Financial Advisors all over the US.
Simple and easy to implement—Thanks SO much, Al. *ARN
“In Networking Nugget 225, I shared a story about how my wife, and I witnessed a “networking connection” during a recent vacation. While waiting to disembark from a ship, we noticed two strangers standing side by side behind us. One had a camera with a huge lens attached. The other stranger simply said, pointing to the camera, “I like that.” Those three words led into a twenty-minute conversation about cameras and equipment, places they had taken pictures, and other subjects. They walked away from us speaking like they knew each other for years. The first person made a simple observation. The second person felt empowered to tell their story. The first person listened. A network connection and a possible friendship was made.
As we start thinking about upcoming vacations, what can we do to facilitate networking opportunities?
- Be open to the possibilities. Like the man in the story, be open to starting a conversation with a small remark like “I like your camera” or a question like “are you enjoying the trip so far?”
- Listen actively to their responses and look for the “commonality” between you and the other person. The two people in the story had a common love of photography and cameras.
- If appropriate, “bridge” the conversation to business. The conversation above led to the discovery that the person with the camera was a professional photographer who was contemplating retirement.
- Make the conversation personal – exchange emails or offer to share a beverage with the other person.
- After the conversation, jot down a few notes in your phone or on paper. You’ll appreciate these notes when you follow-up.
- Finally, remember you are ON VACATION! Have some fun with these conversations.
Have you ever made a networking connection while traveling? Andrea and I would love to hear from you about your experiences!”