A number of weeks ago I had the privilege of presenting the keynote speech to the graduating class at Everest College in Toronto. It was a great evening with a real cross section of graduates across a variety of disciplines.
After the ceremony there was a reception for grads and their families, faculty and staff. Before I got to the reception hall a young man approached me, shook my hand and said, “My name is Curtis Stamp and I really enjoyed your speech. I loved the quote from Ivan Misner! I also totally believe in reciprocity.” I must say I was taken aback by his enthusiasm. He went on to tell me he is a member of a local BNI (Business Network International) chapter.
I asked him what he graduated in, he surprised me when he said he was there to see his mother graduate. I thought how cool, we chatted for a few minutes about his Mom, I gave him my business card and suggested we should connect at some point. I then excused myself to move into the reception.
Not thinking I’d hear from Curtis to my surprise the following week I received an email saying he had checked out both KidsCopsComputers.org and Salesopedia.com and was really impressed with both sites. He suggested we set up a time to meet over coffee.
A week later we were grabbing an early morning coffee at a local coffee shop. It was raining very hard that day and the place was busy, Curtis had already procured two seats so I got in line to order coffee. He told me about his business, Dust ‘Til Dawn. He and a partner started the business a year or so ago providing commercial cleaning services in downtown Toronto. Then I thought, here it comes, he’s going to make a pitch to clean our office. I asked him outright if that was his intent and he said no. They have all the business they can handle right now and have a business plan looking at slow steady growth so they can build a reputation of excellence in an industry not necessarily known for same.
I sat there somewhat perplexed. What did this guy want? I decided to ask him directly. He responded he was seriously about building his network and wanted to understand my charity better as he’d like to support it in some way moving forward. (Givers gain) He also wanted me to know more about his business in case a referral opportunity presented itself. I was impressed with this 20 something guy who really seemed to have his head screwed on right.
We parted ways, but not before agreeing to a next step (his move) for me to commit to attending an upcoming BNI meeting in the early spring.
To my delight I received a Christmas card from Curtis, cleverly incorporating a picture of my business card on the cover with a personalized note inside. (Great card from Send Out Cards – www.SendOutCards.com Do check them out) It read:
I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to meet with me for coffee. I had a very enjoyable time learning about Kids, Cops & Computers and you.
I look forward to seeing more of you in the new year and helping to bring you some donations.
All the best over the holidays.
Talk about making a positive impression! Curtis Stamp of Dust ‘Til Dawn did just that. Ivan Misner would be proud of this student of networking. Some people you meet just impress the heck out of you and you know they are going to be successful. This was one of those rare encounters. I’m looking forward to being Curtis’s guest at a BNI breakfast.
What are you doing to build your contacts and your business?