There was a very famous footballer called Sir Stanley Matthews who was an English footballing legend. He played for Blackpool, scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup final of 1953 in the final that became known as ‘The Stanley Matthews Final’
Later in his formidable career he played for Stoke City and was a sporting super hero.
Another super hero, me, was travelling on the train from London Euston to Manchester many years ago when Sir Stanley sat opposite me on his way back to Stoke, where he lived and where the train stopped.
Being the shy young man that I was in those days I could not for the life of me think of how to start a conversation and so the journey passed, in typical English train travelling style, without me saying a word to my footballing hero.
Such a waste of an opportunity that would obviously never repeat. Sir Stanley, sensing my predicament was polite enough to say good bye when he was leaving the train at Stoke. Which I think on reflection made me feel worse.
You may have been to my networking workshop where we have played the ‘Lady Gaga’ game. The scene is that a shy young person who is a lady Gaga super fan gets to sit opposite her in a coffee shop and has to begin a conversation as this will be his one and only chance.
This is a demonstration of how to begin a networking chat and break the ice.
My friend, Edmund, with whom I enjoyed a coffee yesterday, was telling me proudly about his very successful businessman son who has been in Chicago on a whistle stop business trip.
Whilst on the way home, flying first class, who was he sat next to but non-other that our former British Prime Minister, David Cameron. I had to ask Edmund what did they discuss, was Cameron interested in your sons export sales, could he connect your son to some of his, well placed mates. What was Cameron doing in the US? Was he on a speaking tour, selling his book, seeing friends, maybe Barak Obama. So much to learn from a former PM and he is captive on a plane. Amazing opportunity to network and connect.
Guess what, the super successful son who, according to his father is very rich, did not have the confidence to start a conversation.
Now, the opportunity I missed was way back when I was about twenty years old. But not now.
Have you ever missed a golden opportunity to give your ‘elevator pitch’?? let me know in the comments section below.
Have you started the ‘Man in Red Glasses Course’? if not you need to, as after taking the course you will not let that kind of opportunity pass you bye.
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