Ridesharing is not only good for the environment (save on gas and ease up on traffic), it’s good for your business relationships and networking opportunities. That has been my experience. Here’s one example…
Last week I spoke to a good networking friend of mine who is the CEO of a mid-sized insurance company based in the Midwest. I met her three years ago during a 2-day Powerful Presentation Workshop that I instructed for a group of senior leaders from the financial services and insurance industry.
At the end of day #1, she was waiting for the courtesy shuttle to take her to her hotel which was located about 2 miles away from the training facility. Since I was going that way anyway, I offered her a ride in my car. She accepted.
In the short 15 minutes it took to walk to my car, drive to her hotel and drop her off at the front entry, we had an interesting conversation about business challenges and personal goals. We had broadened our relationship from student/instructor to professional colleagues and potential friends.
Over the next two years, we have stayed in touched and worked together professionally several times. She hired me to bring the presentation training workshop to her executives and sales team. She hired me to consult with her on her new keynote talks and industry presentations. And most recently her company’s foundation agreed to sponsor a regional Money Conference for Women hosted by a non-profit organization whose board of directors I serve on.
What’s the point of this story? I believe that our relationship and professional connection was accelerated and enriched by the 15 minute rideshare experience.
Time spent together in the car traveling to business events with other professional associates is a great way to network and build stronger connections. While your urge may be to drive by yourself, think about giving a lift to others for the purpose of networking.
Your networking GOAL for this week
Look at your calendar this week and identify a meeting or event that you plan on traveling to. Find out who else is going to this same event and ask them to join you in your car. That’s right, you initiate a rideshare invitation. Not only will this commitment ensure that YOU show up for the event (i.e., someone is counting on you!), but you will advance a strategic relationship, either with a colleague, client or new connection.
If you are at a conference, consider sharing a taxi or offering a lift to someone who is also going to the airport or nearby hotel. Make sure you exchange business cards and follow-up with them when you get home. I suggest sending them a Linkedin invitation plus sending them a personal correspondence or making a phone call a few days later to say how much you enjoyed getting to know them.Your job now is to get to know them even better. Build a mutually-beneficial relationship. New business opportunities await you, them and others. Imagine the possibilities…
- Do you have a similar story or experience with the networking power of rideshare? If so, please share it with me and others on Facebook.