Today is International Women’s Day and a perfect time to write about a dynamic young woman I met yesterday through a Powermatch introduction. Krista Manoppello is the type of young business woman that every firm wants in leadership positions. She is obviously well-organized, polished and had done some homework before our meeting. Her story about getting into the financial services industry is compelling. We share some common ‘stomping grounds’ in the Upper Merion/Plymouth Meeting area.
We talked about my preconceptions with the position of Operations Manager within a financial services office. In my days with Drexel Burman Lambert decades ago and the underwriting of Toll Brothers’ initial public offering. Our office operations manager was the least likely person to meet outside the office doing business outreach; the absolute stereotype of an introverted person. It stuck me that the very concept of internal operations management is, in a sense, the opposite of firm outreach and networking. Krista explained that her attention to detail plus her love of people allowed the two roles to work together. She explained the Ameriprise niche in a way that I had not heard before. She mentioned a financial planning service paid over time that could work for younger or modest income clients. I joked that most of my clients are rich grumpy old men (who would be the first to volunteer themselves as fitting that category). There is an almost 30 difference in our ages and we discussed the natural tendency for our clients to be within 10 years of our own age. From a purely statistical probability perspective, we would not have any natural market overlap. But the fantastic benefit of the supportive business networking approach that is not an impediment to a great business relationship.
Our talk turned to business relationships. I shared that while I’ve met many great people in financial services, none of these have developed into meaningful working relationships. We agreed to have another conversation on this topic.
This blog post is part of an ongoing project to get me out of the office to meet more business people and the exercise of writing out is meant to prompt my memory and serve as an easy way to encourage business referrals in the future. The next step for me is to apply principles of the Powermatch follow-up planner. If you are reading this and would be open to a similar get-together business meeting, lunch of coffee, please let me know.