Dana Stibolt

How I met up with a mentor at the Airport, used “dead time,” and turned it into a great conversation.

Now, I don’t think I’m the person who invented this strategy, but this worked out beautifully for me.

I found out from a friend of a friend that a person that I’ve been dying to talk to was flying the same airline that I usually fly out of BWI. So, I decided to meet up with her at the airport. So, I had some leverage with them as they also knew of me, and we had been introduced at a networking event once before. My friend who connected me with her could also vouch for me.

So I texted this person and let them know who I was right away. I told them that we had tried to talk at this conference, but she got swamped by other people who wanted to talk to her (and it was really loud there). I told her that I was also traveling on the same day she was and that she would like to meet me at the airport at the gate before their flight.

To make this work, I needed to be through security and at the gate, so I made an impromptu visit to Florida to visit some folks down there.

So, I made it to the airport early for my flight. Nobody was in front of me at TSA Precheck, so I walked right through and texted the person I wanted to meet with to find out where her gate was and that I would be waiting for them with coffee and asked what kind of drink she wanted. I stopped at Starbucks, grabbed two drinks, and headed to the gate. We sat down and had a chat for about 45 minutes before I had to head to my flight.

The Airport is such a dead zone when waiting for a plane, so I thought this would be an excellent time to connect, and I was right. She was happy to have something to do, and we had a quick conversation, which was a win for both of us. Plus, I got a bonus trip to Florida that I needed to make anyway.

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