By Ron Bockstahler
If you’re anything like me, there are times we dread going to those scheduled networking events. Not that we don’t want to visit with people, but our schedules get busy, we fall behind on work, we sacrifice time with family, or whatever the reason, it can be hard to carve out the time for planned networking.
Yesterday my COO was telling me a fun story about this past Friday night. Our offices have been pretty busy, with more and more people back in the office. It was past 7 p.m., but still light out and she didn’t realize the time. She talks with a few clients that are still working and they ask her what she is still doing in the office. Without realizing the time, she tells them she is working, of course.
They tell her it is past 7 p.m. and offer her a beverage and ask her to join them in the Cognac room. It turns out to be a wonderful, serendipitous get together with a few clients she knows and one she just met that day. Turns out the client has an aunt that performed on Saturday Night Live and did some training at Second City. My COO has taken classes at Second City and they immediately were able to build on this and come up with a lot of fun memories to laugh about.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that experiencing those serendipitous moments, the opportunities for unplanned conversations with others is what I enjoy the most about going into the office. Nothing is planned, there’s no anxiety build-up or second thoughts about what I am missing or giving up to attend a social gathering. Just unrehearsed, natural conversation with peers, co-workers and friends.
It helps that my office is at Amata Office Suites, where I have the opportunity to meet people, other than my co-workers, in the café, hallway or Cognac room. In my business, just about 70% of our new clients come from referrals from existing clients. For lawyers, I’ve read that upwards of 80% of their new business comes from referrals from other lawyers. Having unplanned, unsolicited opportunities to build relationships with others than can refer you business is invaluable. Consider how your year would change if you received one referral form a serendipitous meeting each year.
If you’re interested in hearing more about how you can leverage Amata’s networking for your business, contact us here to get started.