I tend to be gregarious at restaurants...
My wife and I were having an alfresco lunch yesterday. Two tables away sat a woman with a branded shirt, quietly eating some great Mexican food and sipping a Corona.
All of a sudden her laid back demeanor changed when she answered a cell call and went into 'business mode'. You know how that is: you are away from your office walking your dogs or waiting in line at Starbucks and suddenly an important client calls. You totally gear up and go into serious biz mode.
This person stood up and was a bit loud, even sitting outside, but I could totally relate. After the call was over and she revved back down I jokingly commented to her how she'd gone into that business voice and demeanor, psyching up to handle things. Apparently she had gotten some orders from up top to promote a new gym club.
We started talking. Not that I was into athletics at all... She started gushing: divorced her contractor husband, currently working for Brita, move from Ft. Lauderdale, had a business that got crushed during the last recession, had a double mastectomy, etc. She was a fighter and a go-getter. A little unlike me. We shared some additional stories when I told her I was an architect and I prodded her about her latest assignment.
She was to go door to door in Winter Park, a high-end neighborhood, and leave a flier if she didn't make direct contact. Winter Park is a market I wanted to get back into as I have been absent locally, working around the country rather than in my own back yard.
"I will offer you a 10% commission", I blurted out - to include one of my cards with her program, and if a client got into a contract with me. A deal was made, phone numbers exchanged, and I am hoping to hear from at least one or two people in that neighborhood that is going through a lot of teardowns and new builds.
You never know what can happen when you start up a conversation with a ... stranger!