Passing People By Can Mean Missed Opportunity

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.

6 thoughts on “Passing People By Can Mean Missed Opportunity

  1. Networking isn’t a nest- it’s not going to do you any good just to sit and coddle the same eggs. Each environment offers different personalities, backgrounds and experiences. Take it all in and you’ll find: You’ll become more influencial, marketable and most importantly: Approachable.

    Absolutely LOVED this story. Thank you!

  2. Unfortunately, people passing other people by happens a lot. I once told a guy I wanted to introduce him to another gentleman at a business event. He replied, “Who is it”? I informed him it was a gentleman who was new in biz and seemed nice when I talked to him earlier in the meeting. As I pointed the gentleman out, the guy said “He’s got a pony tail- I don’t want to tlk to him”! I’ve also seen people avoid other people because of age, weight, or other factors. How ridiculous is that? You never know who knows who in networking- that’s what makes it so powerful.
    Talk to everyone and watch what happens! After all, there’s something in life that never returns- a lost opportunity!

    Shawn McCarthy BNI ED Ventura County Ca.

  3. This is a great message for not only job seekers but opportunity seekers. I am personally experiencing a potential journey to the job of my dreams at the company of my dreams all in part to a discussion with a grandmotherly woman at church. She connected me with a person that knew the inside scoop within my target company! I am not there yet, but on my way!

    Life is all about people!

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