Were you ever out at a bar or event where you got to talking with a random stranger and through your conversation realized that they knew a lot about one of the brands you installed?
It happened to me not long ago. Our realization that we were both working with URC’s Total Control product line led to a rush of excited conversation and the further realization that we also shared the same rep and knew the same distributors.
You just never know whom you are going to meet in your everyday life (and whom those people will introduce you to), and how these chance encounters can lead you to some of the biggest successes of your career.
That’s how it happened to me. A spiral effect of networking efforts all came together to bring me to this blog right now. It started with Desiree Webster from NuVo asking my rep Gary Cullen if he knew any installers who were doing a high-end NuVo installs. I happened to be working on one, so Gary gave her my contact information.
During my interactions with Desiree, she introduced me to Lisa Montgomery who was looking for a project to feature in Electronic House.
Even something as crazy as my wife working in retail played a role. She was working with a client, and he mentioned that he had all this product and needed someone to install it. So she gave him my card. While doing his install, I found that his sister did the PR and marketing for Marantz/Denon, and they were looking to do an article around an install of their lines. While working on that article I was introduced to Sara Trujillo who put my work in publications outside of our industry and most importantly introduced me to Jeremy Glowacki of Residential Systems.
You can never underestimate the value of the relationships that you build inside and outside of the industry. That is why networking is just so important and why we should always put our best foot forward, no matter what situation we are in.
CEDIA EXPO, for example, is right around the corner. This will be one of our biggest opportunities to network within the industry. Not only can you expand your circle of contacts, but you can take time to enhance existing relationships, as well. That’s why I suggested in my last blog to bring business cards and portfolios to EXPO; you never know what opportunity will present itself to you and when.
You never know whom you will meet, whom you will speak to, who is watching, and who those people know. They are assets to you and you can be assets to them. Build and maintain relationships at all levels, because you never know where the road may take you and who is going to take you there along the way.
Todd Anthony Puma is president of The Source Home Theater Installation in New York City.