A good friend of mine, Patti Salvucci, runs dozens of networking groups in the Boston area. A while back, Patti was visiting one of the groups she oversees, and she made an unlikely and very remarkable connection. This is one powerful story . . .
A true master networker, Patti arrived early for the networking meeting in the private meeting room at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. She noticed an older gentleman setting up coffee mugs for the meeting and when she struck up a conversation with him, she was extremely impressed by the tenor of his voice. She asked him what he had done before he retired.
He told her he’d been a commentator for CNN but had decided to find less hectic work and move closer to his daughter. He now managed the owner’s suite at Fenway and enjoyed reminiscing about the famous people he’d met while in the radio business: John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and others. Patti was astounded.
Later, when the meeting was in full swing, one member, Don, announced that he would like to do a radio talk show someday and was looking for contacts who could help him pursue that dream. After the meeting, Patti directed Don’s attention to the gentleman in the back of the room and told him that the man used to be a commentator on the radio. Don was flabbergasted. It was better than any contact he could’ve expected, and it happened at the very meeting in which he asked for it.
The irony was that Don had seen the man on many occasions, but it had never occurred to him to strike up a conversation. After all, the man obviously had little in common with him. What could he possibly have to offer? . . . Obviously, a lot. 😉
This story is a great lesson to all of us that we really don’t know whom we could be standing next to on a daily basis and that taking the time to find out a little bit about the people we cross paths with can bring great rewards.