Then I looked at the meeting agenda and saw what was happening before and after my presentation. I noticed that a very senior executive was speaking before me. She was someone that I would love to connect with and potentially do business with her company in the future..
I thought about how I could meet her. I looked her up on Linkedin.com, but couldn’t find her profile. I reached out to some people that I knew that worked at her company and asked for an introduction. They gave me her phone number….but her voice mail box wasn’t set up. Odd?
It didn’t look like I would be able to touch base with this executive prior to the presentation. I imagined she would jet out immediately following her presentation. I might not get the chance to meet her at all. Bummer…
My strategy is set
Then it occurred to me that if I arrived early prior at the very beginning of the conference that I might have the serendipitous opportunity of running into her as she was preparing for her presentation. It would be a chance meeting, but worth the shot.
Here’s what happened.
So I arrived at 8am for my 10am presentation. Not only did I meet this executive and have a fantastic conversation with her while we waited for the students/audience to arrive, I benefited from listening to her presentation which included a recap of her career history and the business lessons that she learned along the way and felt important enough to pass on to these college students. There were important insights about her that I could not have garnered from regular research efforts.
Extra bonus received.
I also got to meet a colleague of the executive who was helping out. He was a charismatic communications professional with an advanced skill set and unique experience that fascinated me. His presence was a bonus that I wasn’t expecting when I set my strategy, but was delighted to receive. More meaningful new connections.
What happens next?
Now, I wasn’t able to get their business cards, but I was able to present them with my business card. One of them has already reached out to me via email.I am hopeful that I can make a lunch appointment with one or both of them. Follow-up will be important to move this unexpected meeting and conversation into something more meaningful for both parties. We now have something more to talk about – the career summit and our experience and contribution to its success.
What’s the morale of this networking story?
Show up early…on purpose! Arrive early for the expressed purpose of meeting and conversing with new people. This networking tip could save you months of time trying to meet business connections through your regular channels and strategies.
Share your thoughts on our facebook page- NetworkingAhead.com/facebook