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Talk to Strangers: How Everyday, Random Encounters Can Expand Your Business, Career, Income, and Life by David Topus

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Chapter 25

From Unplanned Meeting to Monetized Connection: A Case Study

Everyday encounters in the places to which you journey in your ordinary life can lead to extraordinary opportunities if you are aware, awake, and alive to their possibilities. However, that gets you only halfway there. As we discussed earlier, you can’t put a conversation with a prospective client in the bank; you will have to get in touch—and do so quickly—in order to turn the other person’s interest into an invoice. You won’t increase your salary or job title from merely talking to a potential employer; you will have to circle back with that connection to turn the opportunity into an offer. You simply won’t fully know what’s possible if there is no subsequent contact.

One of the most fruitful random encounters I ever experienced required a carefully orchestrated follow-up. The meeting involved the president of a large industry association whom I met while traveling to Chicago. It was a midday flight, and he was my seatmate. He was dressed casually with his shoes off, reading a book and nestled comfortably in his seat. This was the level of accessibility I would never have had if I met him at a networking event—or worse yet, in his office. He probably would have had his guard up if we had met at an industry function, fully aware that he was the bull’s-eye in the target of a roomful of hungry networkers. The environment would have been hectic, wrought with distractions as countless people engaged in lots of ...

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