The Amazing Coffee Connect
2021-01-27 04:31:39 • Denise Pitot
A study* found that people who said “networking played a role” in their success spent an average of 6.3 hours a week participating in networking activities!
That would be an absolute minimum! In fact, Ivan Misner, founder of BNI suggests you network for 8-10 hours a week!
The Amazing Coffee Connect is a great way to do this.
Remember that an effective coffee connect builds relationships that lead to trust. They should not be done as a one-off, but regularly. They should not necessarily be done with a fellow member who you think you can synergise with most. You'd be surprised by how much you can learn and share with someone who you think has very little in common with you and your business; when you ask the right questions over a good coffee ;-)
Here's how to ensure an efficient, effective and truly amazing coffee connect.
1. Book coffee connects back to back all morning, so your drive time is reduced. Sit at one location and have your connections come to you. They can of course do the same thing. This can get you 4-5 coffee connects in one morning!
2. Confirm the appointment to ensure you will both be there! I use an Office 365 Bookings APP which allows only my coffee connect available times to be shown to anyone using the link to book a coffee connect with me. It also inserts the meetings automatically into my calendar and sends reminders!
3. Plan the content of your coffee connect. Have some questions prepared to encourage finding out about their business, and for them to find out about yours. Ultimately you are looking for ways to be able to easily refer business to one another, and as such end with at least one commitment to each other.
4. Follow up after your coffee connect with an email, confirming what you needed to send them and what they need to send you. I like to snap a pic of the event and load it to Facebook to give us both some exposure...feel free to do the same. These are nice ways of reminding the person you met with that you value their time and input (and od course reminding them of the one commitment to each other).
While doing 4-5 coffee connects once per month will not give you the targeted 8-10 hours per week of networking, when added to your regular network meeting attendance, it certainly goes a long way to getting you started.
Here are some questions you could ask: (Choose 4 or 5 per meeting)
- Name a person or company you would like to be doing business with that you are not currently doing business with?
- What type of person or business is likely to be a great source of multiple referrals to you?
- What profession(s) in your contact sphere would you like to build a relationship with?
- What phrases might we hear in everyday conversations that would indicate a potential referral for you? (These are words that should be included in the 45 second elevator pitch)
- Which past customer(s) best represents the kind of referrals you are looking for?
- What is the best referral you have ever received?
- Out of all the members at MBN, whose customers are also likely to be good customers for you?
- What kind of referrals are you NOT looking for?
- Are there any new markets you are targeting for your business?
- What general types of customers or companies represent the best kind of referrals for you?
- What types of problems does your product or service solve?
- What types of products or services does your company provide?
- What got you started in your business?
- What’s your favourite part of what you do?
- What makes you stand out from your competition?
- Do you have any advice you could give to someone starting out in your business or industry?
- Are there any up and coming trends in your industry?
- What promotion tactics work best for your business?
- What would you most like change about your industry?
- Whats the next big event that’s coming up for you?
- At the moment, what would you describe as your biggest challenge?
- What kind of customer are you looking for at the moment?
- How can I recognize a good prospect for you?
- What kind of situation would a client needing your services be in?
- Which of my customers would you most like to be introduced to?
Have fun exploring the coffee shops and restuarants we have as members. You could have a coffee connect with them before or after your meetings too!