Eavesdropping or good business

I was at a Starbucks yesterday (I don’t think the training helped them), and I couldn’t help but overhear the people at the table next to me.  They were a man and a woman, and they seemed to be acquaintances who were catching up on their respective business lives.  The man was a much louder talker, and I could hear him talking about the funds he has put together to invest in real estate.  Specifically, he was investing in medical buildings. 

Now..I am attempting to get my services into the medical industry, and having someone with access to the tenants of a medical building is like gold.   At what point am I allowed to bust into the conversation and talk about my services?  I know that makes my eavesdropping obvious, and may be a huge turn-off for this gentleman.  On the other hand, they are talking at a very crowded Starbucks so they have to have some expectation that someone will hear their conversation. 

Since we’ve adopted this relatively new culture of coffee shop meetings, Starbucks-communting, and very open network conversations, is this type of business acceptible?  Is every conversation that takes place at a Starbucks just like a conversation that takes place over a blog…you have to assume EVERYONE is listening. 

In the past I have actually stopped at a table on my way out, apologized for overhearing their conversation, and dropped my card.  Sometimes it has led to a talk.  Sometimes it has led to a LinkedIn connection.  On this day I did nothing.  I had to run to a meeting, and didn’t have time to talk, in the event that the couple wanted to engage further.  However, it did cause me to consider the idea that Starbucks is essentially a real-life blog…or, rather, blogs are an online Starbucks.

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1 Response to “Eavesdropping or good business”


  1. 1 TrueLightTracey March 5, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Do I even have to comment on this one? You KNOW what I’m gonna say right? So if you bust into their conversation (btw i would leave the busting out and slip in instead) and you annoy them, so what? you will never see them again really and you weren’t doing anything malicious. On the other hand, if you slip into their conversation and offer good services to this man’s clients he appears the hero to his clients. Win win for everyone right? Take the risk my friend.

    ~Peace, Love & Light,
    Tracey


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