What happens if you become a master at networking. Gil Pitersil shares his best practice with PSA Holland.
I see networking as an Art. The Art of Connecting. To me it’s certainly not just going to network events in order to push your own agenda through and hope to get new clients. Above all, it’s choosing to connect with purpose and finding a way to serve.
That is why, I believe, when I saw an interview with Gil Petersil on James Taylor’s International Speakers Summit 2018, I felt the urge to connect to Gil personally as his ideas resonated strongly and I knew I could learn a lot from him.
It took about six months from the moment I connected with Gil on LinkedIn and flew over to Moscow to meet him in person. It also took tons of e-mails, messages and conversations with Gil’s team, researching him online and watching a number of keynote recordings and live webinars before our appointment was set.
Simultaneously, I was on a mission to share the message of Mikhail Kazinik – a person who had been an inspiration for me for years – with the world. I reckoned Gil might be the one who could help me with it. So, I decided that if I introduced my good friend and Mikhail’s main producer Boris Kazinik to Gil, there would be a beautiful win-win-win situation. To stay in Gil’s terms, we will create a synergy, where 1+1+1 equals 33. And, oh boy, I wasn’t disappointed!
I kept following Gil’s journey and stayed in touch with two of his team members. So, the moment I reached out to Gil with my request to share his expertise on networking and strategic partnership with PSA Holland so that we can learn how to apply these techniques to grow our speaker business, he kindly agreed.
On top of that Gil happened to be travelling to Amsterdam in June, so I just knew we had to grab this chance and organise a live event. Together with PSA Holland board we researched the opportunities and thanks to Eksteen de Waal, who is both member of PSA Holland and Royal IGC, this interactive session ended up being organised at the Royal Industrial Big Club (Koninklijke Industriële Grote Club) in Amsterdam!
As the rule of win-win goes, it was the time absolutely well-spent for all parties! It was a unique event for PSA Holland hosted at a fabulous venue of the club with rich history and amazing ambiance. It was a new-style happening for the club members. And, last but not least, it was a valuable event for Gil where he could serve both audiences. For all of us together it was a great opportunity to learn, enrich our network and have meaningful conversations.
During this interactive session Gil talked about multiple aspects of networking and the importance of strategic partnerships. We discussed why it’s important to research the people you’d like to meet prior to connecting with them. What the ways to start and end a conversation are, and how to follow up and not taking ‘no’ for an answer. Why it’s essential to ask others about their goals and talk about yours. Why it’s crucial to want to have a mentor. Why it’s necessary to evaluate your circles and identify people who you’d love to have in your life, and the notion of Co-Elevating.
When having lunch we were asked to interact with people we hadn’t met before and listen to them introducing themselves and their goals, all in orderly manner with a timer set to 1 to 3 minutes. It was an excellent listening exercise and allowing everyone to have their voices heard.
All in all, I believe it was a set up worth repeating, and I truly hope that the majority of the participants left the venue with a couple of valuable take-aways and felt inspired to take action!
P.S. Talking about making connections without any agenda in mind, and receiving without asking for that, I met a club member that morning, whom I had a deep conversation with. Later that day I was delighted to welcome him to my own first Event I hosted at the Embassy of Free Mind in Amsterdam where I talked about leadership communication and what we can learn from classical masters in music. The power of connecting at play.