I recently contacted a young man in a Business Development position and asked if he would meet with the President of one of his competitors. The young man’s response was “I am happy and doing well where I am – if the President would like to throw out a number and if that number is high enough, I would meet with him”. I explained to the young man that the President would do no such thing, given they had never met or spoken.
But the young man would not budge. He puffed his chest and let his ego get in the way…and did not understand that an opportunity to meet with a decision maker is a good thing. While the young man is happy and doing well today, there is no guarantee it will continue. We see evidence of this every. single. day, in the form of businesses downsizing, being taken-over, merging, going bankrupt, and so on. And when the time comes that this young man realizes he is not happy and not doing well, he is going to want to reach out to his network, which ideally would include decision makers.
There is nothing bad that can come of two people meeting and discussing possible business opportunities. No trade secrets need be discussed. If the two people meet, don’t like each other or see any potential, then fine. But if they meet, like each other and agree there could be something – today or some time down the road – then a valuable new connection has been made.
When you have an opportunity to meet with a decision maker, take it.