Throughout your career you often will have a few game changers that really made the difference. This can be taking the right job, joining a new company, or in this case simply bumping into a stranger. It was over 20 years ago but I remember the day like it was yesterday. Here I am… at a career fair fresh out of college, new suit, new shoes, a clean cut haircut and ready to make it happen. The purpose of being at the job fair was to have a final interview with a Regional VP of a large retailer for an “assistant manager” position. The discussions leading up to that point were going well and barring any suprises I was heading down that direction.
I was wandering around the venue glancing at the various employer booths and then I literally bumped into my future. There he was, a sharp dressed man who looked remarkably polished, he quickly sized me up and asked me if I was a “tough guy”. I thought the question was a bit odd for a career fair but I went along with it and said “absolutely” with a smile. My quick response brought out the charismatic smile from the Sales Director of this office systems company. We had a very brief conversation about why I was there and what I was most interested in doing with my life. After a few minutes he closed by telling me to not accept the job with the retailer and to be in his office 7:30AM sharp Monday to meet his sales manager. With confidence he shared this decision will change the rest of my life. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into but I knew this is someone that needed to know and to be a part of my life.
Sales and life for that matter is all about meeting new people and building a great personal and professional network. Meeting people will open new doors and opportunities to bring great experiences and most importantly the chance to learn and share new viewpoints.
I am still not sure if it was me that bumped into him or him deliberately getting in the way but regardless I am most grateful it happened.
- Never turn down the opportunity to meet someone new, you can learn something from everyone
- Opportunities are what you make out of them, it is on you to capitalize from it
- Don’t be shy, if the person is not open to getting to know you then it’s their loss
Your true value in sales and life is who you know and the care and feeding you put into these relationships. Set time on your calendar to reach out and connect up with old friends and equally important get out there and shake the hand of someone new this week!
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