My professional speaking career has begun, and this week I gave a presentation to the United Agribusiness League (UAL). Among other things, the UAL has a healthcare trust and they sell medical insurance to Ag related businesses. I was speaking at an awards dinner for their top producers.
I love that word for salespeople, producers! Remember, nothing happens in a business until something is sold to someone.
When I was doing my research about the organization, I asked for information on the top producer. "He's very well connected in the community and does many of the things you write about Ken. He's very involved in the area's famous rodeo. In fact, he's the President for the next two years."
When I met this fellow, I inquired about the Rodeeeeeo (long "e"). "Now Ken, we don't pronounce it like that, it's the Rodaaaaao (long "a")." I corrected myself and we all had a big laugh. It was a good icebreaker. I asked how one becomes President of a famous and popular rodeo. He told me he began by volunteering for a menial and dirty activity 15+ years earlier. "The good news is that through my work on the rodeo I've been able to meet almost every business person in town. In fact just about every one of my clients has been involved some way or other with the rodeo."
He should have been giving the networking talk. That's networking country style: Activity, Generosity, Consistency and Value. 15 years! Shouldn't you get started now?