By: John Hutchins, Vice President of Client Services.
If you know me, you know that I love to network and I encourage everyone else to network – whether you are selling, recruiting, looking for a job, or whatever – networking is never a bad thing! You never know where it will lead or what it will turn into.
The other day I was training a junior sales person. She was shadowing me on a sales call with a client manager I had never met before. She asked the question, “How did you connect with this person?” As I thought about my answer, I began to laugh. The seeds for the meeting in April 2016 were planted back in 2001.
One night in 2001, my wife and I invited some new neighbors (Cheryl and Dan) over for a friendly game of cards and a few beers. I learned that Cheryl was an administrative assistant at a small insurance company. She agreed to introduce me to the CIO of her company (Tim). I met with Tim a couple of times and he introduced me to his manager of software development (James). Shortly thereafter Tim was laid off, but luckily I had developed a good relationship with James.
James ended up hiring a bunch of contractors from me over the next two years. I was meeting one of those contractors (Martha) for lunch and asked her what her husband did for a living. Lucky me! Her husband (Karl) was an IT manager for a government contractor. She agreed to introduce me. I met with Karl who introduced me to their manager of software development (Bob). Shortly thereafter Karl left the company, but luckily I had developed a good relationship with Bob.
Bob and his team ended up hiring more than three dozen contractors from me over the next few years. After a while, Bob and I got to be friends. The other day I was having lunch with Bob and he asked if I would be willing to network with his wife’s, sister’s husband (Brent). Being the networking addict that I am, I readily agreed.
Brent and I met for coffee a couple of times. He had been laid off from his job as a CTO and was looking for a new gig. I was able to introduce him to a few people, but unfortunately wasn’t able to directly help him find a job. Looking for a new job, especially when you’re unemployed, can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. I experienced it many years ago when I was changing careers and swore to myself that I would always be open to helping others.
Brent ended up landing a job. We met for coffee after he got situated and he offered to introduce me to the software development manager at his new company (Susan). You guessed it, Susan is the manager, the junior sales person and I were scheduled to meet in April 2016. The meeting went really well, by the way. I’m looking forward to how it turns out and who I’ll meet as a result.
What a crazy, wonderful world full of possible networking opportunities we live in!