Thursday, December 13th, 2018

5 Keys to Maximizing a Coffee Meeting

By Cathy Kuzel on Jul 25 2011 • Filed under The Connected Woman

Business meetings over coffee are great for building relationships. (Photo)

Business is built on connections and relationships, not texts, emails or a phone call. Inviting someone to coffee can create new opportunities and the benefits can outweigh the extra time it will take out of your day.

Last month’s article Take a Coffee Break…it’s Good For Business shared three benefits of scheduling coffee meetings each week. Here are five points to keep your coffee meetings casual but controllable.

1. Purpose:

Before you make that invite, determine why you want to have coffee with that person. Is it just to reconnect? Are they a potential client? Is it purely social or do you have an interest in what they have to offer? Make a short list of topics or points that you want to touch on.

2. Precise:

Be specific in your invitation. Busy people like details so they can tell at a glance whether they can fit it into their schedule.

Hi Willa, I enjoyed meeting you at the Connected Woman meeting last week but as with all networking events, there never seems to be enough time to meet everyone. I would like to invite you for coffee at Waves Coffee next Thursday at 11am for half an hour to learn more about you and what you do. Are you available?

3. Place:

Pick a coffee house that is central to both of you. Try to avoid the local hangout. You want to be focused on your guest and it will be hard to do if you keep getting interrupted with ‘Hey Cathy!” from other co-workers and colleagues as they come into the shop.

4. Punctual:

By arriving on time, or even a bit early, you’ve indicated the importance of time and that half an hour is exactly what you have for time. Should you both agree to extend your meeting, 10-15 minutes extra should be the maximum. If you have much more to talk about, schedule another time for a longer period to get together again.

5. Pen to Paper:

The article On That Note gives you all the good reasons to take pen in hand and send a personalized note to thank them for their time. Want them to remember their coffee meeting with you? Send a note.

By the way, my favourite is decaf mocha with the works – whipped cream and chocolate drizzle!

Now Go Get Connected!


5 Comments

  1. I like that you included being precise in your post. Setting the expectation up front regarding what you want to discuss is important to having a worthwhile meeting. It allows the other person to be prepared and guides the conversation. I’d also say that the “coffee” meeting isn’t the right place to get into a hard sell unless previously discussed.

    • Hi Brandi,
      I agree, there should never be a hard sell in a coffee house! 🙂 It’s about setting the ground rules of how you want to do business with the person you are meeting with.

  2. Great points! When a meeting is clear, it is more likely that you will be able to succeed with your goals. Great to be social but even better when you get things accomplished!

    • What we see so often Cheryl is that people tend to focus on one or the other (social or business) and ignore the incredible impact that can happen when the two are combined in a balanced way. We’re human, we love interaction but we also have to pay the bills! 🙂

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  1. Take a Coffee Break…it’s Good for Business – | Entrepreneurial Woman Magazine

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