By Jeff Beals
When I arrived at the venue where I would be speaking, a woman was standing at the front entrance, propping open the normally locked door. I assumed she was there to let me in.
“Hi, I’m Jeff,” I said. “I’m scheduled to speak this morning.”
As it turned out, the door greeter was my client, Jamie, the person who first contacted my office and made the arrangements for me to speak. As soon as I introduced myself, she said, “I saw you getting out of your car and recognized you. We’ve actually met in the past.”
She looked familiar but I couldn’t remember how we knew each other. I hate it when I can’t remember a name or why I know somebody!
About an hour later, it was time for me to speak. Jamie did the introduction:
“Back in 2008, I applied for a job, a position I really wanted at the time. The hiring manager was today’s speaker, Jeff Beals…”
Uh oh! This was awkward…I’d never heard this in an introduction before.
Suddenly I remembered Jamie. I remembered interviewing her back in 2008. She was an outstanding candidate who made the final two. I would have offered her the job if the other candidate hadn’t been just a little more qualified. Several thoughts went through my head. Was she angry I didn’t hire her? What was she going to say next?!!?
“I didn’t get the job,” Jamie continued. “I was so disappointed, but Jeff called me the next day and explained why I didn’t get the job.”
She said she really appreciated the call and that it helped her crystalize in her mind what she really wanted to do with her career. She said that when the opportunity came to select a speaker for her organization, she recommended me.
Wow! I went from an uneasy feeling of nervousness to a warmly humbling feeling. It was so gratifying to receive positive feedback in a public forum, and I was certainly thankful I made that call to her several years ago.
Jamie and I talked over lunch following the presentation. What a gift it was to have this experience! How nice it was to hear about the impact an otherwise unpleasant phone call had on another person.
During the conversation, Jamie smiled a bit and said, “I bet you never thought you’d be hired for a speech by a person you didn’t hire for a job back in 2008!”
A truer statement has never been said.
You just never know from where opportunity will come. You never know who will come in and out of your life and when and for what reason.
I’m lucky I made that phone call years ago, because it eventually led to a business opportunity, a friendship and a cool experience. I now find myself wondering how many other opportunities I may have missed because I failed to make similar calls to other people.
Jeff Beals is a professional speaker, sales consultant and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (402) 637-9300.
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