Jody Shyllberg of JS Graphics, Inc. in Massachusetts sent us this "success story" about networking at Panera Bread recently.
I was meeting at Panera Bread with a prospect, Mr. H, an SEO marketing consultant who was referred to me by a member of a referral group to which I used to belong. (Tangent: I saw this colleague at an evening networking event the week before- one I had dragged myself to, even though I really wanted to stay home with a good book. After catching up on each other's news, he told me he was going to make the introduction.)
The SEO fellow and I had a wonderful meeting, and we are going to be working together on a project right away, with more to come. We are a good fit.
During our meeting, a business consultant Mr. H knows walks by, he introduces me to her, and now I have a meeting set up with HER to talk about designing her a web site. As Mr. H and I end our meeting and stand up to leave, a gentleman sitting at a table behind us says, "Excuse me for eavesdropping, but are you a web designer? Because I'm developing a new business, we're going public in January, and we need a web site."
Now both Mr. H and I have a meeting set up with this fellow! (Another tangent: it turns out both this fellow and I recently joined another networking group specifically for entrepreneurs looking for venture capital and angel investors…)
So, I'm thinking of adding "sitting in Panera Bread and talking loudly about my business" to my marketing mix…