Special thanks to all my new friends at T-Mobile (namely, Dennis Smith) who invited me to speak at their monthly teleseminar yesterday. We had a great time talking about recruitment, an industry for which approachability is absolutely essential.
During Q & A, Dennis posed an interesting question that I'd actually been wondering about myself recently. "Scott, have you ever tried to quantify the approximate number of people you've met by wearing a nametag that you otherwise wouldn't have encountered?"
Of course I have!
(x) people met in person per day
(y) people met via internet, email, phone per week
(z) audience members spoken to per month
(1,962 days straight)
≈ 35,000 people!!
35,000 people I wouldn't have met otherwise.
Now, you might wonder, "Yeah, but Scott, how many of those 35,000 people actually became your 'friends'?"
First of all, who do you define as a "friend"? And does that really matter? Isn't everyone just a friend you haven't met yet anyway?
Secondly, it's not just about making friends. It's about making friendLINESS. It's about how great someone feels after talking to a new person; not whether or not they get together for coffee the next day, or ANY day!
Lastly, according about 500 networking books that I've read, the average person knows approximately 250 people.
That's "people," not "friends."
So let me just say this. Out of those 35,000 people:
The point is, approachability is about encounters that otherwise would not have existed. It's about NOT missing those opportunities by breaking the silence and giving people permission to talk to you in a comfortable, confident environment.
BOTTOM LINE: 35,000 is a LOT of people. And I'm grateful every day that I've had the opportunity to meet all of them, notwithstanding the level or result of the encounter. So whether it's a fleeting conversation, a mutually valuable friendship or a date for friday night, it all matters. In the words of my hero Glen Phillips, "Everything matters. Every word is a seed that scatters."
LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How often do you go out of your way to meet new people?
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Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag