I’m standing at the “load here” sign at the high-speed quad at New Hampshire’s Ragged Mountain with the next chair sitting stationary about a yard behind me.
Which means that I have a front row seat for the mounting panic in the control room.
The operator pushes the button. The lift groans, gains tension, and shudders back to a standstill.
He tries it twice more with the same result.
The other operator opens a cabinet, pulls out the operations manual, and starts leafing through it.
Not a good sign.
Then she picks up the phone, dials, perks up, and comes running out of the booth to breathlessly tell the waiting line of skiers:
“I don’t know how to fix this, but we called the mechanic – he’ll have it fixed right away!”
It seems unlikely that a mechanic will be able to fix anything before I get tired of standing here, but before I can finish my thought the mechanic pulls up straddling a snow mobile.
He looks like he’s lived on the mountain for decades – his ratty beard spills over the front of a rattier coat and his greasy cap is pulled down low over his eyes – but he’s clearly been waiting for this call.
He marches up the stairs and into the control booth and surveys the buttons on the wall.
And it gets me thinking about your Elevator Pitch.
Because the lift operator knew who to call.
And that’s exactly why we network – so we know who to call.
Yes, networking is partly about getting people call you, and a great way to do that is by knowing who you can call.
How strong is your network?
What if someone you know has a computer problem, or a question about real estate taxes, or needs a divorce lawyer, or their kid is being bullied…
Who are you going to call?
If a name doesn’t come to mind – then it’s time to network more effectively.
Because if you don’t call people, they won’t call you.
Networking is a two way street.
Half of it is teaching people when to call you.
The other half is learning when to call them.
This bearded mountain man marches up the stairs and into the control booth and surveys the buttons on the wall.
He reaches for the – I am not making this up – the SAME BUTTON the attendants had just pushed.
He pushes the button.
The lift groans, gains tension, and shudders… to life. The chair scoops me up and ferries me swiftly to the top of the mountain.
Do you know a professional button-pusher you can call when the lift stalls?