In her article Ellen tells this story:
I’d made an appointment to meet with an interior designer who had recently switched to a firm located in Long Island City and was looking forward to getting reacquainted. I dragged my wares through the rain and up a long flight of stares to her office, in an old warehouse building. Drenches and exhausted I was greeted at the top by a young man looking at me quizzically. While I waited for my friend, he explained he was the principal of the firm and said, “You look familiar.” And so ensued a where-are-you-from game.
An exchange of bios didn’t uncover a connection so I gave a brief recap: “You are from Jersey, I’m from Long Island, you went to school in Philly, I went to Boston…” “Where in Boston?” “Tufts,” I said. “That’s it!” he announced. I’d thought he’d gone to Penn, but it turned out that was for his architecture degree, and he had graduated from Tufts a year after me. That established, we discovered that one of my housemates was his best friend. My new friend’s excitement was contagious-he even sent our mutual acquaintance an e-mail on the spot. I was equally excited: I had a new business relationship!”
What I like about Ellen’s story is her focus on the development of a new relationship. Notice that Ellen didn’t start by giving an elevator pitch or trading business cards with the principal, rather she focused on making a connection. Good networkers know that when you start by making a connection, rather than a sales pitch, the rest will follow.
If you would like to connect with Ellen she can be reached at:
The New Patcraft & Designweave
PO Box 2128
Dalton, GA 30722