Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sales pitch in a parking lot? How not to network

This really happened to me, and in exactly this way:

I was filling my car up with gas last week (and having a minor heart attack because, my God, $55 to fill up the beater Saab I was driving that day? It’s like adding insult to injury) when the woman approached.

She looked to be in her late 40s. Windblown hair, flower-print blouse, minimal makeup. Looked like a harried mom who maybe needed help finding an obscure street in my tiny New Egland town. Looked like she was sure I’d say “No” if she asked me anything. So I made up my mind to say “Yes.”

“Excuse me, but can I ask you a question?”

“Yes!” I said brightly, one hand on the nozzle. My brothers like to joke that I can’t find my way out of a wet, upside-down, brown-paper bag, but if she needed directions, I would do my best.

“Have you ever thought about earning a little extra income from home?”

My first thought: Who hasn’t?

My second thought: Crrraaaaaap. She’s doing a sales pitch. And with the gas pump ticking away and my car keys in my pocket, I was a captive audience. It’s like a taking a call from a telemarketer times infinity, because you can’t really hang up on one when she’s standing in front of you. ... [More]

Now, the most interesting thing about this post at The 36-Hour Day is the discussion in the comments... some great suggestions from career coaches over there! Take a look (and surf on over to Work It, Mom!'s articles section for more networking and career advice).

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