Posted on: July 30th, 2010 by Jen Mueller

I think it’s time to say TIGF and Happy Success Story Friday!  My goal each week is to bring you examples of how sports conversations lead to more opportunities, better relationships and experiences.  I’m always interested in what you have to say.  Send me your success stories – no success is too small to mention or brag about.  And no story is too big that it can’t apply to everyone else.  Today we have examples of both.

Here’s a little success story from my lunch yesterday in Pasadena, California.  My photographer, Kevin and I had just finished shooting interviews at Pac-10 Media Day.  We were tired, hot and parched after standing in the sun for 5 hours.  We stopped at a little Argentinean restaurant for lunch.  The owner made a couple trips over to refill our ice tea and Kevin asked him if he had watched any of the World Cup games.  Instantly, the owner’s demeanor changed from polite to engaged.  He stood and chatted for a few minutes.  I asked a couple questions related to headlines I’d seen recently about Maradona, he gave me all the answers I needed. Then he left the pitcher of ice tea for us and provided exceptional service during our lunch.  In return, we left a larger tip.

Now perhaps the owner would have provided that kind of service regardless, but there’s no denying a quick sports conversation changed his mood towards us.  As a result, he ended up with more money in his pocket thanks to a healthy tip. 

On the surface, that success seems small and maybe even insignificant.  But think about how it applies in a larger setting.  Here is an example from Mary P.  Her email was so compelling; I decided to use a portion word for word here.

“In my former life I was a corporate trainer for stress management personality profiles etc. and it was amazing how I built credibility with the men in the audience when I could talk sports with them. Usually they are resistant to “having” to attend workshops that deal with “soft” skills but chat with them before the workshop about the latest game trade etc. and they become your best supporter once the workshop starts Toss in some sports analogies to explain a point and they are right with you.”

Mary P. used sports conversations to help gain added credibility and respect in her job. As a result her ‘real’ message was well received and she was more successful.

Did this spark any ideas with you?  Send in your stories and I’d be happy to brag about them for you!