If you have a prospective client that you would like to get to know, coffee is a great neutral ground (pun).
Most people like coffee and if your client doesn’t like coffee that should be reason enough to move along.
So, how do you do it? How do you get millions of dollars in new business by simply buying someone an overpriced cup-of-Joe?
With our proven multi-step process you will improve your close ratio by fractions of a percent - and there’s more.
Step 1: To getting more coffee client appointments
Keep it simple. Funny enough, early in my career I thought it was important to share my resume in a conversational email.
Using my background in criminal justice, I deduced that most people were indifferent to my impressive list of marginal accomplishments.
I further gathered that there was a direct relationship between the length of the email and the rejection rate of my requests.
Keep your request simple. If people are interested they will look you up on LinkedIn or ask around. You don’t need to tell them your life story or make an impassioned pleas for why they should choose contestant number 3.
Step 2: For achieving higher success rates in client prospecting with coffee
Be specific. Rather than an open ended invite to coffee at a place of their choosing at some future date, pick a place and a time.
It may seem intrusive to invite Jane Doe to the Bestest Java on Wednesday at 930 AM but I believe it is actually quite polite.
By providing a place and time you aren’t wasting their time searching the whole of their calendar and thinking through when would be best for them.
You also increase the probability that they actually check their calendar. “Is it even possible for me, Jane Doe, to meet at the Bestest Java on Wednesday at 930 AM?” It simplifies the process.
They can say yes.
They can say no.
Or they can say, "Actually Thursday at 830 AM would be better."
Additional Tips: For guaranteed improvements to your client coffee outreach
I promised there would be more. Here it is.
1. Most people like to try new things.
If there is a new place use that as a reason to invite them.
2. Experiment with taste and location.
If your prospect has a specific coffee taste, using a specific place may allow them to suggest a different location. I have some people who like Fast food chain coffee and others who stick with the known names. There have been plenty of times when when clients have said, “I’ve never been there.”
3. If they can’t find the time, offer to bring coffee to them and/or their team.
When you get your coffee meet up on the books, do as much research as you can to enable you to make an initial impression. Don’t over do it but come prepared. It is polite, professional and effective to know some basics about your prospect.
4. Make it about them.
If this is an initial invite you should plan to keep things primarily personal, get to know the person and work to earn their trust. Most people want to have a sense of whether they know, like and trust you before they will do business.
5. Ask questions and get them talking.
This is both polite and Sales 101. It is ok to go the whole meeting and not talk about yourself. Typically if you are genuinely interested there will come an opportunity where your guest will ask you, “So, what is it that you do?”
6. Be prepared to respond.
Practice makes perfect. Whether you are new to sales or meeting a client for the first time. Do some base level research as well as some role play in how you think the conversation might go. Be prepared to keep it light but never be caught off guard if the client is ready to dig into the business relationship. If you work through scenarios prior to the meeting you will be better prepared to seem confident rather than desperate when the time comes to discuss your products and/or services.
Don't forget to thank us when you increase your close rate on client coffee meetings
When inviting another professional to coffee - keep it simple, don’t waste time, be specific and be genuine. I’ll guarantee that this is more effective than being complicated, wasting time, being generic and doing the typical sales routine.
If you haven’t increased your close ratio by fractions of a percent, we will give you your money back.
Let us know if you’ve had 10’s of more coffee appointments by using these ultra secret steps to maximum success.
Interested in business and leadership concepts presented in a comic strip style format? You may find some encouragement in our latest series The Modern Leader: Loyalty, a four page presentation of perspectives on how to compete in the modern workplace. When leaders embrace the challenges of an ever evolving modern working environment they can win internally (workplace) as well as externally (marketplace).
The golden rule can help keep you centered as you pursue success.
The Golden Rule states, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The essence of the principle is that we should treat everyone with the same universal respect and goodwill that we want extended to ourselves.
In reverse, this does not mean that if someone treats you terribly that they are setting an example of how they would like to be treated. How often have you thought or heard, "If that's how they are going to treat me then they are going to get the same (or worse) right back." When faced with ill treatment our natural response is to get defensive and even to retaliate. Such reciprocal action drags ourselves away from our values. Taking the higher road is a commitment to operate with high standards regardless of the results.
This does not mean that we endure or allow abuse. We also want to set a standard of both how we will treat others as well as how we expect them to treat us. The golden rule should not be manipulated by others to enable them to trample over you as a person and a professional. In a business setting this can be a helpful tool when a team member is being mishandled by a client. "Dear client, our company works hard to follow the golden rule and would request that you do the same. If we cannot treat each other with this universal standard of respect then we will have to rethink our working relationship."
Applying the golden rule requires us to empathize with those we are serving. We should be asking how this person thinks, perceives the relationship and would like to be treated. We want to be considered as individuals as do those we interact with. Taking time to listen, observe and apply the knowledge that we gain enables us to adapt to optimize our personal as well as professional relationships.
Thoughts on personal and professional development.
Jon Isaacson, The Intentional Restorer, is a contractor, author, and host of The DYOJO Podcast. The goal of The DYOJO is to help growth-minded restoration professionals shorten their DANG learning curve for personal and professional development. You can watch The DYOJO Podcast on YouTube on Thursdays or listen on your favorite podcast platform.