The ten minute conversation. We all have them on a daily basis, whether it be in line at the overcrowded coffee shop, with a coworker over the lunch hour, or in the park on a weekend afternoon. So often, we tend to glance over these conversations as social niceties or ways to pass the time. But at NLGS, we think about conversation a little differently. Every conversation – no matter how small or casual – can be a game-changer. All conversations open doors, enlighten senses, spark ideas, and create opportunities for action – each one! Below are a few stories of how a short conversation impacted a person, a company, or an industry:
I recently went to visit an old buddy who works for Apple in California. After recounting old memories and catching up, I pushed him into the pool because, well, it was just so easy! Later in the hot tub, still with our jeans and t shirts on (he got me back), a guy across the murky water jokingly said, “You can’t expect to be in hot tub with jeans on and not expect questions.” We explained ourselves and then continued on chatting with this curious character, and by the time we headed out for the evening I had a new contact at a company I have been working to connect with for years. I also walked away with ideas for the 2017 event location as well as a few names to follow up with. Two minutes.
My friend Matthew runs an organization for good in our city. Two years ago, he was looking for the right employee without much success. The position required a certain skill set, intellect and personality. Unaware of this headhunt, I introduced Matthew to a friend I knew for a 5 minute conversation over a pint. Within the year, both my friend and another he recommended were on staff for Matthew. Because of this, the tiny organization has expanded into two new markets and is recognized as a major cause for promoting good in our city. Five minutes.
I needed clients for a business I ran a few years back. My base was lucrative but small, and I needed to expand. I bumped into a gal in line at the store who asked how I was and we got to talking. By the end of my conversation I had a few referrals who turned into clients who eventually helped me expand my business. Supermarket networking, I suppose, all in about three minutes.
My wife has been part of a summer camp for at risk and abused foster kids for some time now. At camp she asked a little girl named Justice if she had a nickname. The girl responded by saying that her parents told her she wasn’t worth a nickname, though she had always wanted one. Before the day was over, she was going by Janae, a new nickname that combined this little girls first name, Justice, with her love for nature and the outdoors. That 30 second conversation lead to a nickname that showed this girl she had value beyond what she knew to be true.
Every person can point to the conversation that landed them a big client, influenced a big decision, or sparked an inspiration for change. We are certain that a conversation can make all the difference, and because of this we are determined to make focused, intentional, and face to face conversation the core of the National Lawn & Garden Show. Every year we get a comment or a story from someone who experiences just that at NLGS: a game changing conversation for their company. Whether it be a piece of advice about how to better launch a new product, or a simple contact that leads to a thriving business partnership, there are thousands of these conversation at NLGS every year.
Can you remember a time when a conversation made a difference in your yearly profits, childhood dreams, corporate culture, or vacation plans? Let us know.