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As seen in the Wall Street Journal’s Mansion section:
Like many businesspeople, I travel a lot. And when I do, I make it a point to try and introduce myself to whomever I happen to be seated with. Granted, there are times when people (including me) prefer to open a laptop and get lost in work. Or maybe they want to close their eyes for an hour or so and catch up on sleep? I’m always respectful of such circumstances. However, the networking opportunities afforded by travel can be extremely valuable, even unforgettable.
Over the years I have met intriguing people on airplanes. Some have become friends, clients and colleagues – all because I extended my hand, introduced myself and struck up a conversation. There are a number of starters to break the ice; current events or sports news, asking if they need any help, or a curious question about what they’re reading.
I was recently attending a conference. On the long flight out I sat next to an older woman. Our conversation was painfully slow are first. But as time passed and our interaction deepened, I gained insight into the world of this remarkable person. Her heartfelt words helped set the right tone for my trip and put me in a reflective mood that lasted for several days.
On the way home, the person next to me seemed detached at first. It became a challenge of sorts to warm her up, get her to talk and win her over. When she opened up, I learned about her life, family, investments and so on. In fact, we are now communicating about Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty assisting her in some significant real estate deals—all because of a simple conversation.
You never know whom you’ll meet in the friendly skies. All it takes is a smile, a sympathetic ear and a warm handshake.
CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with six offices in Dallas, Uptown, Lakewood, Ranch and Land, The Ballpark and Southlake.