Are you lucky or chatty?
— Alexia McClure
As you are start cruising towards a Christmas break you are probably ready to recover from a few Christmas drinks parties – ones you’ve been invited to as well as your own! Hopefully you have enjoyed rather than dreaded them and you might have actually found that a friendly drinks party has resulted in some new introductions that you want to build on. So, before you close down completely it’s worth reflecting now on who you have met and how you can follow up with the new contacts you have made.
A lot of people say they dread and are really bad at ‘networking’ but a couple of weeks ago I was reminded of the benefits of chatting to someone new as I listened to a podcast conversation with Bobby Brown, founder of the cosmetic brand named after her. She was explaining how she started up her company and navigated the initial growth stages. She said that luck had come her way when she:
- Started chatting to a chemist in a small independent pharmacy when doing a fashion shoot & found out that he made a lipstick so they then worked together to develop the formula for her first product and he became her first manufacturer
- Had a coffee with a friend who was the beauty editor at Glamour magazine and who then gave her lipstick its first review
- Was at a party and was introduced to the cosmetics buyer at Bergdorf Goodman, a major American retailer, who subsequently was the first major buyer to stock the Bobby Brown product
- Asked a lady in the lift in her apartment block what she did for a living and found out that she worked at a cosmetics lab in Queens, New York at the exact time Bobby needed a bigger manufacturer with which to expand
Her story has stuck with me not because I think she was lucky, but because she was chatty! I know there are all sorts of people in the world and many of us aren’t able to walk up to stranger and strike up conversation, but every one of us is able to chat to someone we are introduced to! So, think about your recent chats & how you can build on them in the new year – you might give before you take but if you’ve developed a new relationship that can add value to your work or personal life then you’ll have a great start to the New Year!