So, Do You Come Here Often?
So, do you come here often? Cheesiest line ever, right? Unless you’re squeezed in among the cattle in Coach (as in airplane cabin, not purses), because then you’ll always get a laugh. This is step 1 to starting the “airplane conversation”.
When you’re stuck on an airplane, what do you do? Are you one of those who immediately sticks on the noise-canceling headphones, fires up the laptop to either work or play endless hours of solitaire, and tunes out the world? Now why would you do this when you have a captive audience? Think about it – you spend all week going to networking events trying to meet new people, yet when you’re sitting right smack dab next to someone new, you don’t even introduce yourself. It’s time to change your tactics, folks.
When I travel, I always choose the center seat. Ugh – no way, you think – too cramped, no room for my laptop, whine, whine, whine. Well remember, you’re not going to work or sleep, so why does it matter where you sit? Here’s the reason for the middle seat – you have an audience on either side of you. So you strike up a conversation with one and usually the other will join in. Or one is sleeping, but now you can turn to the other. How easy is that?
So what if you’re sitting next to Mr. or Mrs. Probably-Not-in-My-Typical-Demographic? I know you already know the answer to this, but I’m just testing you. As you’ve learned throughout your time in this networking game, somebody ALWAYS knows somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who either a) needs your services, or b) has services you need, or c) needs services of someone you can recommend. (Think: 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon.) Oh yeah, and don’t forget the “somebody” who doesn’t need anything you have to offer right now, but might in the next couple of weeks/months/years and you won’t even remember them but they’ll remember you or your brochure that they picked up out of an airplane seat pocket way back when.
Next time you book that airline ticket, resist the urge to choose the window seat with an empty seat next to it so you can relax. You know “relax” and “airplane” can never go together in the same sentence, right? So why pretend? Get out there and work it in the sky, because…..wait for it…..The sky’s the limit! (Okay, someone had to say it.)
Now go out and give your fellow travelers an AWESOME day!