I recently realized how much networking and connecting people is ingrained in my daily life. An example:
In November of 2013 I was working at an industry conference and met a man from a biotech company (potential client) in Boston. He saw that my name badge indicated I was from Wilmington, NC. He mentioned that a college fraternity brother (from 40 years ago) owned, ran or managed a bar in Wilmington, but he couldn’t remember the name of the bar. I said, it would be good if you could find out as we have a networking group in Wilmington called the Wilmington Pharma/Bio/CRO Networking Group (pretty clever name, right?). This group meets once a month and we have it at a variety of bars in town and we’d be happy to have it at his bar. Two weeks later I emailed him saying it was nice to meet him and asking him if he’d been able to find out the name of the bar where his friend worked. About a week later I got an email from him, saying he found out the name of the bar – The Bridge Tender – which has been in Wilmington for many years and is quite well known in the region. That is where we had our January networking event. So because of his comment to me, we brought business to his friend’s place and it also gives me a topic with which to share with the potential customer.
I could have responded, “yeah whatever, so your old frat brother has a bar” or “that’s nice, let me know if you’re ever down there”, but I didn’t, I followed through on the comment. I now have had 2 more follow up communications with him and we’re building a business relationship. I thought of this example when I saw this information on LinkedIn last week.