The Gold in Networking

18 Jan

So let’s talk about my networking experience at “The Lodge” at Welch Allyn back in September of last year.

What IS the Lodge? I really had no idea. I knew Welch Allyn was a huge, well known manufacturing facility in Skaneateles, a quaint little town to the southwest of Syracuse with one of the most beautiful lakes around. And that there apparently is a lodge of some sort associated with this company.

Also knew that a local women’s group, WomenTies, — founded by master networker Tracy Hibbinbothem — was holding a networking event there. And that I had been wrestling for weeks on whether or not to go. So much else to do that day. But something told me to JUST DO IT. That little voice that I listen to more now than I ever did. So, I registered the day before, and drove to the event the next day.

The Lodge turned out to be truly AWESOME place. A first class banquet and meeting facility — and then some. When I walked in, I found myself overlooking an enormous open room with a birds-eye view of almost the entire facility. Huge with wooden beams, 3-story ceilings, floor to ceiling fireplace, a baby grand piano and bar in the room and a wall of windows that spanned the entire back of the building, overlooking an enormous deck and lake. Absolutely breathtaking.

They hold weddings, retirement parties, bridal showers, birthdays, meetings, luncheons, retreats, and any other type of gathering you can think of there. Apparently very well known, although not to me until that day.

The Lodge was pretty darn impressive, as was the networking event! With close to 100 women there, I was snapping lots of pictures. As I was networking, I struck up a conversation with Chris, one of the staff helping out that day, and he told me all about the facility. The conversation evolved, and he asked what I did. So I pulled out some of my cool 3-panel picture greeting cards chock full of pictures and explained how businesses use this unique and fun service, and how it could be a valuable tool for the Lodge.

When he looked at the cards, he decided right then I needed to talk to Paula Knight, the Wedding and Event Coordinator, and left to get her business card. The business connection was made, and the “gold” created.

Since then, I’ve followed up by — you guessed it — sending them gorgeous cards showcasing their amazing event and thanking them for checking out SendOutCards.

The card image above, were included in the initial card I created to show Paula Knight and Bridgette, the Sales Manager, how cool SendOutCards is, using actual pictures from the WomenTIES event they hosted. As you can see, it was a real high quality, classy event!

After showing Paula and Bridgette a demo of SendOutCards, I sent the card below with a photo of them sitting in front of the huge fireplace, in order to thank them for their time.

The result? The Lodge will now be using SendOutCards as one of their tools to thank their clients, and for a host of other future uses — all designed to build relationships within their own sphere of clients, guests, and potential clients.

Networking at its finest. It is what I am doing right now, promoting this wonderful place to the circle of people who read my newsletter. The credibility this brings, when a connection like this is made, is priceless.

Networking does take time. And perseverance. But it’s a skill that can be learned by anyone. And when a result like this happens, from a chance meeting, to something that builds credibility for everyone involved, it’s a win-win on many levels.

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Posted by on January 18, 2011 in Cool Card Stories


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