Few people would see the ostensible Trump Clinton general election presidential race as a business opportunity. One man though, is cashing-in on voter enthusiasm; and, it’s not about political ideology, but rather, pragmatism. Last week, a headline made its way around the media, “Man Selling Trump Gear Supports Hillary Clinton.” Nicolas Moore of Detroit is seizing an opportunity, selling Trump campaign memorabilia to swathes of supporters, although he supports Hillary Clinton. When asked why outside a rally in Eugene, Oregon, Moore explained, “It’s all business to us, some of us support him, some of us don’t. At the end of the day, we’ve all got to eat.” Clearly, Mr. Moore sees a useful Trump, Clinton business opportunity.
The Trump, Clinton Business Opportunity
Moore is embracing the quintessential American entrepreneurial spirit. One might say he’s built a successful strategic partnership. Realizing there’s a huge market to tap, Moore is simply utilizing the basic economic principle of supply and demand. For him, it’s not about politics, it’s about business; and there are many in the business of politics we the public rarely hear about or even see. Behind the campaigns of Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are consultants.
It doesn’t matter if someone is inside or outside of your industry, if they are interesting and influential, be willing to commit time and/or resources to meet, connect or help that individual. Sometimes it’s individuals completely outside your immediate sphere that end up being a connector or offering the savvy advice that propels you forward at a crucial junction.–Fortune
These experienced individuals are strategists, pollsters, campaign managers and all are paid to do a job. They are paid to build a positive brand, to assist in sculpting an image for public consumption. One critical aspect of doing so is to seize opportunities as they come along. Sometimes, it’s difficult to do because of circumstances. Other times, a missed opportunity results from not taking initiative.
Surefire Ways to Start a Conversation
Common situations present many opportunities to connect with others. The trouble is, timidness and awkwardness are often part of the circumstances. Starting a conversation, even with someone you’re familiar but not truly acquainted with, is difficult for most. Taking the first step is essential to making new connections and this is only possible by starting a conversation; here are some ways to do it:
- Take a moment to say, “Hi.” Okay, this is an everyday greeting we say time and again; so much, that it’s routine and mundane. But, when you’re unfamiliar with a person, it somehow becomes terrifying. Politely uttering “hello” to a person you don’t know can be downright intimidating, but, it’s a necessary first step and once you’ve said it, let the conversation flow naturally.
- Ask him or her for advice. If you know what he or she does for a living, go ahead and ask for advice in his or her area of expertise. If you don’t know what he or she does for a living, inquire, then ask for advice. When someone is asked for advice, it puts them at-ease and allows them to showcase their knowledge and experience. It’s a great way to learn, and, it requires you listen, not talk.
- Inquire why he or she is there. This works for conferences but isn’t a useful tactic at a company event. Asking why he or she is there is really asking why he or she chose to attend and what he or she is expecting to learn. It’s most useful when you encounter someone you’re only moderately acquainted with, like in an airport, because it helps to facilitate a spontaneous conversation.
- Share your own thoughts and feelings. You can share how you felt about the keynote or the venue. Be brief and don’t ruminate over your feelings. Your goal is to start a conversation and with this opening, you’re essentially asking for his or her opinion, so listen.
What are some ways you’ve found to make a connection and seize an opportunity? Have you been successful with another tactic or have one of these suggestions worked for you? Let us know by joining-in the conversation.