Stop the car!

This was a routine journey for me. Every Tuesday morning, 6 am I’d take the car on a route to meet colleagues to continue the process of developing better business.

My journey went something like this:

Turn left at the end of the road, left again, past the Uni., over the bridge, past the take-out restaurant sitting right beside the new offices as I headed away toward the highway and my destination. It was a well-travelled route, ‘Radio zone out,’ playing for just the 20 minutes.

This particular morning meeting followed a familiar routine. There was the usual ask for ‘who wants what, who can help with this and that.’ We’re a familiar group. It’s a pleasure being there.

Today the shout came out from Mike … ‘I’d like to speak with the manager of a new office build.’

Mike looks after I.T., he’d been around a while. Knew his stuff.

So, an hour later, my journey was back to the office, 20 minutes of reflection, the follow-up as I passed the takeaway and thoughts of dining for the weekend, the Uni., and home …

Same time the following Tuesday, the same old route, Uni, offices, food, all zoned out at 6 am, back again around 10 am.

It wasn’t until the following meeting that the ‘penny dropped.’

Hey, Mike … here’s a great opportunity – just as you asked, a local office build, just down the road, by my local restaurant – why not check it out?’

Mike appeared somewhat underwhelmed, a little non-plussed.

Now, some of you may be thinking … good for you Charlie, nice try, great initiative. Wish more or my colleagues would go the extra mile and think about me like you have with Mike …

The extra mile?

Hey folks, I don’t mind saying, this was the wake-up call for me. It didn’t register until I had a chat with another about how I should have presented the lead (that’s about as strong as I could describe it) to Mike.

That very same morning I headed back past the regular route, but this time? I parked the car right out front of the offices of Mikes’s potential next best customer.

I introduced Mike as the local, reputable I.T. Service provider looking to support them. The receptionist and I were engaged in conversation for a few minutes before being joined by the site manager …

‘Yes.’ came the reply. ‘Sure, I’d love to meet Mike.’

Next meeting, Mike and I shared a coffee and the lead turned out to be a referral. Mike still provides his services to our mutual friend today and he’s lucky enough to support several other localities run by the same office provider.

Networking works, it can be a great provider of opportunity for those with vision. All we need to do is stop the car, change the routine and turn the opportunity into reality.

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